Here’s a day-by-day update since treatment #2:
Wednesday (Chemo Day) – I went into the treatment feeling great. I felt 100% Rob! By the end of the infusion, I felt a little tired. It was 8:30pm by that point and I’m usually tired by that point in the day anyway.
Thursday (Day 1 after chemo) – I started to feel that mild fuzzy feeling in my brain and the uneasy feeling in the gut. It was not quite as intense as day 1 of treatment #1 though. I think having better sleep and less anxiety going into this round definitely helped. I’d say I was feeling about 90% myself.
Friday (Day 2 after chemo) – This was a slightly more intense version of Thursday. I was about 80% Rob that day. Our friends Toby and Cari came to visit from California for the weekend.
Saturday (day 3 after chemo) – Definitely more intense version of Friday, but not as severe as the day 3 of treatment #1. I’d say I was at about 60-70%. It’s a very difficult feeling to describe because the head and gut just don’t feel good. The feelings come and go in waves. Drawing on my favorite book, The Power of Now, I did notice that the more present I am, the better I feel. Meditation is helping me with this. Moving into the present moment while I’m in the Upside Down creates a much more dramatic improvement in the way I feel than at any other time that I’ve focused on mindfulness. My theory is that the Upside Down magnifies the benefits of being present because I’m much closer to that threshold of feeling unwell during these days after chemo. So even just a slight improvement in being present, can push me back over that threshold to feel better. (This could all be crazy talk, but it’s my current working theory.)
Sunday (day 4 after chemo) – Just like treatment #1, this was when I transitioned from the Upside Down to the real world. We did an OrangeTheory class in the morning, and I felt great afterwards. I did have a pretty wild case of “chemo brain” after class though. When we left the OrangeTheory studio, I put my workout shoes in the trunk of the car. By the time I got to the passenger door (literally 3 seconds later), I realized I didn’t have my shoes with me anymore and thought that I left them in the studio. I went back into the studio to look for them, but after a couple of minutes, I realized that I put them in the trunk of the car. Woah!
That night, Tamara came over to the house with an unbelievably tasty whole food, plant-based, oil-free chocolate cake that she made for me. It was super delicious and so thoughtful.
By the end of the day, the brain was feeling about as good as the body. Thankfully, I didn’t forget what I was doing three seconds ago again. I ended the day at about 90% myself.
Monday (day 5 after chemo) – Today I woke up feeling about 90%. I’m able to think pretty clearly and I have the energy to get things done today. I exercised a bit and worked on icortica. I’m really excited to get a new software release done this week! Thankfully, there haven’t been anymore chemo brain episodes so far!