2 posts, one day…crazy right? Yeah…I guess technically it is tomorrow…hmm…but it is early…I thought about making them one post, but I wanted to nap. I love napping. I am really good at napping!
So beyond the emotions of 2 days of reading and processing I also had my first chemo session yesterday. It wasn’t too bad. The worst part was the ice and the cooling packs. If you or someone you know is going through chemotherapy tell them to talk to some support groups about this as well as their doctors. I know there is some level of controversy around cooling caps, but there has been a vast amount of research on them in the past decade, and they get lot more support. When I talked to my doctor, he supported their use. He explained that a lot of the controversy was that chemotherapy heats you up, and this loosens the pores, and this is a contributing factor to hair loss. The concern with cooling caps is that you lose a lot of the energy from your scalp and there are concerns that by cooling you expose yourself to trapping some of the toxins and creating isolated concentrations in your brain. Scary thought right? But he said that they research around my treatment indicates no correlation..that there is always a risk but he was very confident it was ok. So the basic premise is that you ice areas of your body down prior to your session and some actually during, and then after. This keeps the pores tighter and can minimize losses, and even on rare occasion eliminate it. For me, I did the cool cap and iced my hands in effort to save some hair and I really really hope my nails. Now even without this, the effects generally are not pronounced right away, so only time will tell. It was a weighted decision, but based on the feedback I received I decided to do it. Every person’s treatment is different, and ever person responds differently with or without precautions. This is something that they will talk to you about, and something I recommend going to group sessions to prepare yourself for. I’ve met people who blistered or got mouth sores, I’ve met people who lost every stitch of hair, I’ve met people who had minimal effects…the key is this…be prepared to set vanity aside…you are a beautiful person and this stuff will return…and most importantly…your life is worth more than any of these things! Besides…wearing wigs can be fun! I do it sometimes and I have hair!
The IV was hard to describe…it was cold and warm at the same time. I would get a cold presence followed by warm tingles. Like I had a cold crust that had warmth trying to break through, if that makes sense. The cooling periods took most of my time up…it felt like an eternity, but realistically my IV was inside of an hour. I could have driven myself home, but of course you don’t know where you will be emotionally, and my husband took me. I felt fine after other than a little tired…thus far, this isn’t so bad, but I know I am just starting.
For me, the hardest thing is not breastfeeding. My doctor told me that a contributing factor to my issues as a child could very well have been that I was not breastfed, and that while nobody knew for sure, most doctors agree that breastfeeding as long as you can is good for your child. There was some specific compounds mentioned as that which is felt to minimize the risk of childhood Leukaemia, perhaps I will look that up later and post something…my husband will remember the terminology.
Anyways, I am scheduled to do this Mondays and Thursdays, and am ready to kick this thing in the ass some more!