On my third day of chemo my body said to stop. Last night I fell asleep hard in the middle of an action film at 7:30 pm. Through mental might I managed to brush my teeth and get in bed. I slept for most of the night with little problem, and awoke to my 6:00 am alarm for this third day of chemo.
The following are understatements that describe the fatigue I felt this morning:
- Like a cement truck had repeatedly run over my blood cells, leaving the shell of my body intact
- Like I had unwillingly been forced to run multiple concurrent marathons despite my body’s desire to quit
- Like I had experienced the aftermath of multiple excruciating childbirths (I would never otherwise compare myself or my pain to that of childbirth, but I think that daily Cisplatin consumption qualifies the comparison)
- Too fatigued too confidently hold my daughter
- Fatigued enough to cry
I felt fatigued in every cell in my body. Sleeping 10 hours didn’t help. My four-fruit smoothie didn’t help, nor the energy bar, apple juice, or two liters of water that I consumed. My fatigue is omnipresent.
Mom accompanied me for the first two days of chemo, and a great friend joined her the second day. Dad is here today and my wife expects to come tomorrow. It is very helpful having someone to sit and help me, and to be my side. I typically hate being waited on or served, but I could use the help. Once this week is over I don’t expect to do much of anything until my next round of chemo begins. Maybe I will watch more action films while trying not to sleep. Maybe dramatic tear-jerking films will do better at keeping me awake. Perhaps I should just sleep.
I don’t see any irony in the cycle of these medications. It make sense. Kill the bad cells (the tumor) while also killing the good cells. Hopefully all my muscles don’t atrophy. My chest feels better but my cough is getting worse. Sometimes my breath feels even shorter. The fatigue persists.