My first round of chemo ended with forty-two days straight of taking 170 mg of Temador on May 7, 2017. On May 9th, I broke out in hives. I was told that I could take up to 50 mg of Benadryl and that it was possible that the hives could last up to three weeks. Well, just 25 mg of Benadryl makes me very sleepy and since I was supposed to have a month off of chemo, that was not the break I was looking forward to.
I took 25 mg of Benadryl for two days, however, I started researching and looking to my cousin for alternative and more natural treatments. Thanks Internet, Missy, and friends for enlightening me and helping me as the hives only lasted a few days and fortunately they went away on Mother’s Day with no Benadryl.
Here’s what I did:
Dry brushing https://wellnessmama.com/26717/dry-brushing-skin/ (I still continue to do this on a mostly daily basis as it helps with my dry skin from chemo and it’s very energizing and good for the immune system, which I need all the help with this that I can because my immune system is compromised. Again, thank you so much chemo).
Drank aloe vera juice (about 2-3 oz twice daily) It is an anti-inflammatory
Used natural oatmeal soap
Detox foot bath with epsom salt and baking powder in hot water for about 20 minutes
Used Shea Moisture brand soap with oatmeal https://www.sheamoisture.com/african-black-soap-body-lotion.html
On to my second round of chemo, which is only 5 days per month, which I took at bedtime, hoping to sleep off some of the sudden side effects, which of course, a lot of cumulative side effects will pile up over the long haul and I have at least a year of it if my tumor is responsive to it. I’m praying that my tumor is not only receptive to the chemo because this has been shown to be the most effective for my type of tumor and that I can tolerate it. If you are a praying person, I ask that you pray for the same thing. It’s much appreciated.
I felt pretty good the past few days and forced myself to exercise and that felt really great. I ended the last round at the same dosage as the last to see how I tolerate it, then the dosage will begin to increase as the months go on until I can hopefully tolerate the correct dosage, which I believe will be around 450 mg. YIKES!!!!
The past two days I have taken a two hour and three hour nap and I just have to be okay with that. I am also being weaned off of the Dexamathosone (steroid) which I have to thank for this incredibly huge moon face or as I call them Cabbage Patch Kid cheeks, a certain amount of irritability, but has kept me feeling pretty great all things considered.
The last time I was weaned off, I was undergoing radiation and chemo and had recently had the craniotomy, so there was still a lot of swelling and trauma to the brain, however, I did have another seizure and had to be admitted to the hospital for four days. I’m hoping that this will not create another event to where I begin suffering seizures again. I have had four since the initial one, which lead to my diagnosis. I am starting to feel not as sharp, a little less coordinated, struggling with words when I have a conversation. feeling pressure around my eyeballs and headaches. I’m not sure if the headaches are from the weaning or from the chemo or a combination of the two. I think I was naive not having headaches after having brain surgery.
I’m always naive when it comes to a lot of things. I tell myself, Oh I’ll be that person who sails through chemo with little side effects and then I’ll be writing my blog about how I swam the English Channel just four months after finishing treatment or I’ll be the person who doesn’t have headaches after I had brain surgery just four months ago or I’m sure to win the $437 Million Dollar Power Ball!
What I’m learning is to let go of any expectations of how things are going to be. Just like with my diagnosis, I could have never imagined this would be happening to me, but it is. It’s part of my reality, my daily life so I have to just roll with the punches. There are going to be good days, there are going to be crappy days and I always appreciate the good days, and on the crappy ones, I embrace the good things that come along with the crap.