The truth is also that I spoke too soon about the dosage reduction making life so much easier. I'm exhausted so for the time being I'm just going to share here an update I gave to a dear friend:
I'm just really having a hard time with this chemo, unfortunately. It turns out that it's a little bit better with the decreased dosage but just a little. I've still got some significant physical difficulty for about 12 of the 14 days between cycles. (One treatment = one cycle.) The biggest complaints are debilitating fatigue, debilitating headache, and debilitating constipation/crazy bowel issues. Once in a while there's a little projectile vomiting thrown in for excitement, but the accompanying diminished appetite is actually yielding happy results on the scale!
Isn't this a happy response? I just like you too much and feel like you're too much of a friend to put on my breezy, "I can handle it!" voice, so you're ending up with an earful. (Or eyeful, as it were.) The truth is that Lorraine and I are really worried about this chemo regimen, because neither of us can imagine it being sustainable over the longterm. I kept hearing how "well tolerated" it was, but that has just not been my experience. I don't have enough energy to even do laundry or play with my dogs, my head hurts so much we have to speak in hushed tones and I have to stay in bed, and my stomach is always cramping or in a state of flux and great crisis. I haven't lost any hair yet, so that's a great relief, as it could have thinned! We'll talk to my onc this Friday (I see him before each treatment, which is an absolute pleasure, as we adore him and trust him completely.)
Emotionally, we're both quite fragile. Of course, it weighs on everything, and there's never any escaping the reality of it. It's just so heavy. And THERE. I can only assume -- and hope to God -- that it gets easier. Lorraine is absolutely amazing, but she's in such pain. We both are.
I'll post more soon, I promise.