A Full Chemo Cycle

cancer_the_crabI’m now on Day 3 of chemotherapy Cycle 2. (Day 1 is the infusion day, there is no Day 0.) I have been keeping a daily log of symptoms, medication, and food intake so I have a better idea of what to expect this time around, and things seem to unfold as expected.

  • On Days 2 to 4, I am relatively well (with anti-nausea medication), though my energy and appetite start decreasing. I have to take injections to boost my white blood cell count during those days. I may experience constipation thanks to the anti-nausea medication, but then it will swing to the opposite extreme.
  • On Day 3 to 7, I get joint pains in my hands and sometimes feet, particularly in the last two digits of my right hand. Same place I get pains sometimes in bad weather.
  • On Days 5 to 8, I will be very tired and have no appetite, to the point where drinking enough to down my meds is difficult. This time around I have to do better and stay hydrated, get more protein in, etc.. Last cycle I lost ten pounds and had to receive intravenous fluids. While I have plenty of excess weight, the medical team stresses repeatedly that maintaining weight during chemotherapy is very important.
  • Around Day 9 I should start recovering, and the progress should be quite satisfactory by Day 14. But I will not rebound to 100%, nor even to where I was at the start of this cycle; every cycle will bring me down more.
  • Days 14 to 21 are pretty good days if I remember that I’m not at full strength: limit walking, exposure to crowds, etc.

Throughout the cycle I also get itchy skin, hair loss, small sores; last time my tonsils got really bad during Days 5 to 8, I hope it won’t happen every time.

This is what the white blood cell count does.