A couple of days before I'm set to get chemo -- for example, today -- I start to get my game face on...I start to prepare for chemo.
I'm pretty sure everyone knows this, but these chemo drugs are no joke. They are meant to be strong enough to devastate your cancer cells but they take a toll on your healthy cells, too. Some people lose their hair, others lose lots of weight, and almost everyone feels fatigued.
Luckily, I've done great during these first two rounds. If chemo has fatigued me, I can't really tell and neither can anyone else. Since I was given clearance to lift weights, I haven't missed a day because I didn't feel up to it. And, as I recently posted, once I got the green light for basketball and tennis, I was out on both courts having a blast. During these chemo treatments, I've been to three concerts, Santa Barbara (twice), Palm Springs, and even to the dentist. I usually get up around 9ish, hit the sack at around midnight, and have very full days in between. I can honestly say that my body hasn't stopped me from doing anything I've wanted to do during chemo (not that I actually wanted to go to the dentist). It's pretty incredible, I'll admit.
Part of my success thus far, I'm sure, is the preparation I undertake days before chemo. During those days, I continue to push myself when working out (I know I have doctors reading this blog, including my doctors, so when I say "push myself when working out," in no way am I saying I'm pushing myself too hard or overdoing it - nobody panic), but I also slow down a bit. I make sure I get enough sleep, and if I feel a little tired (like yesterday) I take a little nap. I also try to load up on healthy food (especially protein), just in case my monstrous appetite wanes a bit during chemo week.
I also visualize the whole process -- from needle in the portacath to 4.5 hours of soaking up the chemo to becoming detached from my bag o' -- and get excited for the next onslaught that whatever is left of this foolish cancer will face. I figure out which Rocky shirt I'm going to wear to treatment, make sure my mom has all my snacks ready to be packed (as if she wouldn't), and try to keep the adrenaline from pumping too much because the cancer-killing party is about to get wild.
Like an athlete or lawyer knows, preparation is essential when seeking a good outcome in a game or for a client. I know it's essential for my battle, as well. You'd better believe your girl is prepared for it.
Unfortunately for cancer, it's simply not prepared for me.