Cycle One Week One

The day after my first A-C chemo treatment, Day 2, I woke up feeling fairly normal. This was as expected I think. I was careful not to kiss my family on the lips. I was using my own bathroom. I was drinking plenty of water. I was careful to take the prescribed medications exactly how and when they were prescribed to avoid side effects.

I also did more practical things like order head covers, caps, wraps, whatever you want to call it. Just in case the summer heat was too much for me with a wig. I had no idea what my preference was going to be, but I wanted to be prepared. I also ordered some new patio furniture. After the straight forward talk from my provider prior to my chemo treatment, I decided that I was not going to be a prisoner in my home. We have a covered patio and all that was missing was comfortable nice patio furniture. We had a set that came with the house, but squirrels had done their best (worst?) over the years and it was never something we used often enough to worry about. That was about to change, so a new set was moving up on the priority list. This would allow me to be outside with the girls and still provide protection from the sun since the drugs would make me photosensitive.

On this particular day, That Little Girl had dancing school and a family friend brought by a very thoughtful gift bag of goodies. This bag of goodies has become my new go-to gift bag for anyone now. It included things I did not even realize I needed. She included a fuzzy blanket, tequila and drink mixes (some day!), nail polish, a book for That Little Girl and I to read together, a bracelet, hand sanitizer and soap, and an Itunes gift card.

In addition to preparing for the unknown that was to come, we had to prepare for the services for my grandfather. My family had, for many reasons, put off the services a little bit. In part it was to allow me the best opportunity to attend given all that we had going on in that short time. In the short time between having had That Baby Girl and starting chemotherapy, I had ordered a few dresses online that might work having never imagined I would get anywhere to try anything on in a store. I also ordered a few wide brimmed sun hats to match the various choices and long sleeve cardigans. My parents and That Guy weren’t quite so prepared. So the day after chemotherapy I helped both my mom and my husband find clothes to wear to the services. We won’t discuss the fact that at some point in the year leading up to all this That Guy had realized he had lost his black suit. Lost. Like, for real legit, not able to be found and definitely not hanging in the closet where one should keep such a thing. Obviously, he doesn’t have to wear a suit to work each day. Who does that? Anyway, once they both had found something, I was really worn out. The effects were starting to set in.

I woke up the following morning, Day 3, feeling a bit wiped out. I had obviously done too much. The thing about drugs is they all have their own side effects. I was feeling ok, but the nausea started and I was very tired. Several people from my care team called to check on me this day. A nurse from the oncologist office, my navigator, and my ob-gyn all checked in on me. Again, such amazing people who really care and not just because they are assigned to me. They asked about how I was, and about the baby, and how we were doing as a family. They asked if we had enough help here at home. A very dear friend brought her girls over to visit and meet the new baby. She also brought dinner for us, as many have.

Believe it or not, some of our close friends were just finding out this day that our family had gone through all this. As I said, it was a lot to process and not the easiest phone call to make. People who knew the baby was born, but didn’t know why so early, began to wonder if there were problems because I hadn’t posted pictures to Facebook. It wasn’t that we were keeping a secret. We were just trying to keep it together. With the funeral coming up, people knowing prior to the day was important to me. The day was definitely not about me. It was about my grandfather, my entire family, and not about what was going on with me.

Days 4 and 5 were pretty rough. I slept quite a bit. I was not able to eat too much. It was a lot of water and bland food. I was trying to eat very healthy. I also found that smoothies were my new best friend. At some point, I had to make a call back into the doctor’s office regarding some side effects and was given direction. While it was hard and unpleasant, I kept thinking, if this right here, is the bad part, the days that will be the worst after each treatment, I can do this. It wasn’t going to be fun feeling terrible, and boy, did we need reinforcements for the kids, and That Guy was working triple time to pick up the slack left by me being useless at some times plus take care of me in addition to the newborn and toddler. But we got this!

We made it to the day of the services, and I was able to get up and ready. I was not feeling normal, but I was feeling much better than the day before. As we were ready to leave, That Guy, who was going to be a pall bearer, grabbed his suit jacket and realized it had a security tag left on it. So, off to the mall. Get there, they are not open. Try all the stores that are open and they don’t have the same type of security tags. Stop at another mall on the way to the church. We are super late at this point and they aren’t able to help but they were very accommodating and willing to try when I called ahead on our way there. So we went to the church and That Guy was a pall bearer without a suit jacket. I do not make up these Wacky Wednesdays. The chaos is real in this family, my friends.

Aside from that ridiculousness, the services were absolutely perfect. Family and friends came from near and far to pay their respects and also to be there to support my family. It was a very long day. I was tired and had to sit down. It was warm. I felt terrible, but tried hard to power through. I wasn’t to hug or shake hands. That was a hard thing to accomplish. If you were there and this is you, please don’t be offended. I needed the hugs and there is healing power in seeing everyone and getting them; however, after the services were over I giggled with That Guy at how many people, fully aware of the situation, would hug me saying” I know I can’t hug you, but I just need to hug you.” I would, of course accept, because hugs and funeral and baby and breast cancer and feeling icky and holy crap did I need a hug. And with the sun shining bright, I looked like I was a spy what with my hat, sunglasses, dark sweater over a dark dress, and a gigantic big necklace to cover the port incisions that were still fresh and ugly looking. If only I could hide from the reality we were going through!

The next day, I was exhausted again. But there we were. I made it through the first week. It was only going to get better from here until the next treatment, right?





  1. Sending you a HUGE virtual hug!!!

    Liked by 1 person


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