round four almost did me in. i honestly thought i had this whole “cancer” thing figured out. i was handling every round okay. and i didnt think our family had been affected that badly. and then there was round four.
to start with round 4 is a totally and complete mental f*ck. you’re more than halfway done- yet still have three rounds looming over your head. that combined with the cumulative effects of all of the chemo so far AND my 20% bump and it was a total and complete sh*t show.
i feel like i spent most of this round- and many of the days after in bed. in a complete and total funk- i was exhausted, nauseous, and exactly 0 fun. my mouth sores lasted far longer than they usually do. and my levels (WBC) dropped so low i was neutropenic for the first time ever. i also had my first fever scare.
Mackenzie refused to leave my side in bed during chemo week- even though my mom was here. she had some sort of cold (the same awesome cold thats making its rounds) and passed me her cold. it started just as chemo was coming to a close that week. and landed me in bed for DAYS. like couldn’t muster the strength to move. it gave me a super cool fever (as a cancer patient if you get a fever of 100.5 for longer than an hour its a sign of infection and NO GOOD i hit 101.6 for four hours). i started a round of antibiotics (thanks to the fever), and thankfully got it down before i had to go to the hospital so they could look for an infection. my first blood test of the week my levels were fine- my second blood test of the week earned me a phone call from a nurse AND my doctor about how low my white blood cell count was and urging me to take necessary precautions with germs and the two germ infested children i’m currently living with.
thats when we decided to run to my parents house for the weekend. we needed to get out- but not actually out (because heaven forbid i get sick and have to postpone the next round of treatment). it was the perfect weekend. we had an extra set of hands to help, we got to go swimming, and the girls had a blast. it sidetracked our big plans to do a disney day as a family that sunday- but thankfully we rescheduled for Wednesday when my WBC had bounced back.
Monday we met with my doctor. we saw the writing on the wall that i wouldn’t have to endure another 20% bump in chemo for round 5. but he said my levels dropped so low, and my symptoms were so bad this round, that i’m going back down to round 3’s dosage. i sighed audibly with relief. as much as i know i have to endure two more rounds- the thought of doing so makes me dry heave. it got hard, and real, and i finally feel like a cancer patient (and i dont love it). so the chance to go down in dose AND still beat this in the end was such welcoming news. i know it’ll still be frustratingly hard. but hopefully focusing on only having to do this twice more will help. plus- we’re shipping the girls to my parents for the last half of chemo week in the hopes that its easier for everyone.
Things are getting harder and its getting hard to remain positive about the whole thing. so many times this round i thought “why me?!”, i have an increasing number of friends getting pregnant with their third- and when they complain about morning sickness i just want to yell “ITS NOT FAIR”. because they get a baby out of their nausea, and i just get to live (and hopefully get my hair back). I hate complaining- I’ve never considered myself a complainer- but this round i threw myself many a pity party. i didn’t sign up for this mess. i don’t want to have to be “strong”, or a “warrior”, or to be bald. but alas, its what life has thrown our way. so here we are. doing our best to make the non-treatment weeks as normal & fun for the girls.
It took me a long time to hit “publish” on this post. Mostly because it’s so filled with complaints… but a wise woman (in the form of my mother in law) told me it was high time to tell the truth about what’s actually happening. And now that I’m on the other side of round five I promise that next post won’t be quite so “feel so sorry for me”.