Okay so the real lyrics from the Katy Perry song are ‘You’re hot then you’re cold’ but I am singing about myself.
The chemotherapy has totally taken over my hormones as promised by my doctors. I have hot flashes and night sweats so often now I am not sure what ‘normal’ feels like anymore.
I sleep with my ceiling fan on. Not that unusual, right? But, I HAVE to also have my big comforter over me too. This seems to be a conflict of interest to most, husband included. I start off cold so I cover myself. It doesn’t take long before I go into sweating mode and have to throw the cover off and let the fan cool me off. Soon I will be too cold and have to cover up again. For this very reason I stopped wearing my Fitbit when I sleep. I do not need to be reminded that I woke up 27 times. Yes 27!
This week seems to be worse. I have started wearing skirts and dresses at work because they are cooler. I seem to sweat through my back and toes when I have daytime hot flashes. The night sweats, well I just soak everything including the pillow. It only takes a few days of interrupted sleep and early mornings (like 3am because you just can’t try to sleep again) to make you feel like you are losing your mind and haven’t slept for months. It isn’t true but it feels true.
The other lovely thing I have going on is acid reflux and an increase in gas. I have always had gas. All humans do. It is natural. Mine has always smelled like death. You know ‘silent but deadly’. That is me. Lately they have been death warmed over twice then forgotten so it rotted. Yeah, I know, gross. Try living in that smell. So I looked it up to see if it is a side effect of chemo. Guess what I found:
Chemotherapy medications you may be taking to treat breast cancer can cause gas by speeding up or slowing down your digestion. This can increase the amount of gas released in the stomach, which can increase belching or flatulence. Chemotherapy also can affect how the bacteria in your stomach work, causing gas and abdominal pain.
So that is awesome. GERD and acid reflux are also part of the process too. I am so relieved that it is a treatment induced issue but sheesh kick a girl when she is bald!
I know that the chemotherapy is catching up to me. Not just from the increase issues but that it is harder and harder for me to find the humor in it. I have always found humor in every little thing in life. I have always been able to bring a chuckle to myself or others in any situation. It is getting harder and harder for me. This is how I know that the medications are effecting me.
I have one more round of chemo left. ONE MORE ROUND!! I have to get though this. I will get though this. The question is will I get though it with grace, joy and a non raw butt hole? Will I get through with a sense of humor left? Will there be an end (ha!) to the gas and GERD? Will I ever adjust to the hot flashes (they will continue after for many years,ugh) ? Why is the sky blue? What is an eight-hour night of solid sleep like? What is up with the Muppets getting cancelled? So many questions, so many uncertainties, so many ways to bring out depression.
This is what I know to be true: It is for the greater good. My husband still loves me even though I am scarred, deformed, bald and sometimes smell. I have a new perspective of what I want out of life and will soon have the energy to pursue it. That this too shall pass. And most of all that my bedroom ceiling fan is quite beautiful.