Three years ago, my mom died when she caught pneumonia during chemotherapy. Her situation was very different from mine, in that she was being treated for multiple myeloma, a systemic (whole body) cancer, so her chemo was done after a bone marrow transplant. Therefore, she had no immunity through her white blood cells, so when the pneumonia bug got her, she had nothing in her body to fight it.
When I heard I was going to be having chemo, of course I asked about my chances of catching pneumonia and dying. I was reassured by every doctor and nurse that my white blood cell count would always be monitored and that I wasn't even having anything close to that bone marrow transplant beforehand.
But keeping all of that in mind, I was excited when I found out that part of my regimen would include a shot called Neulasta on the day after every chemo treatment, which boosts my white blood cell count and therefore my immunity to everyday germs I may encounter.
Let me tell you something, though. That Neulasta shot has kicked my butt the past few days.
When I last posted on Thursday, I was fatigued, and that lasted through Friday morning, but by Friday afternoon, I was able to go outside and watch the girls play with chalk on the driveway. The drugs held off the nausea and I was pushing myself a little to keep my energy up during chemo.
I went in for the shot around 4pm and was even able to make dinner afterwards. Then, overnight, I started feeling how sharp and pointy my pillow actually is. Yes, a side effect of Neulasta is muscle and bone pain, and I was warned. But who knew that a pillow could be so uncomfortable? This pain lasted, despite the recommended doses of Aleve, until this afternoon (Sunday). Although I'm still exhausted from it, I think I'm passed the worst of the pain. (I hope...)
If I am feeling the way I have for the past 6 hours or so, I should be fine taking care of the girls this week. I'm so glad to have some people who have offered help for when I need naps, but I'm hoping to do most of the Mommying myself.
So in summary, chemo isn't too bad so far. Neulasta, which is just as important, is going to make a few days every cycle pretty tough. The good thing (for me at least) is that we planned this for the weekends, so I know the girls will be safe and happy with Paul.
Many of you have written emails and contacted me on Facebook to see how I'm doing. I still plan to get around to personal responses, but now that my pillow is feeling a little softer, it's time for some sleep.