“If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going.”

January 15, 2014
Treatment Day 11

Treatment Day 11

Picking up where I left off from last week’s treatments – Thursday, January 9th was Day 11 of treatment. I had some more visitors scheduled to come see me.  I had a friend’s mom bring my dad and I lunch and some soccer buddies stopped by.  Both Thursday and Friday (Day 12 of treatment), flew by – I had no complications and plenty of awesome visitors to entertain me. That concludes my second “on week” of treatment!

Treatment Day 12

Treatment Day 12

I decided to list out some of the thoughts I have had over the past couple weeks while going through treatment:

  • It’s mind blowing on how many people come in on a daily basis to receive chemo treatment and then go about their normal day – You wouldn’t have a clue!
    • The average chemo treatment for a person usually lasts for a couple hours and doesn’t receive treatment every single day. Of course this depends on the individual’s type of treatment.
    • Staying hydrated is the key to avoiding nausea and sickness while going through chemotherapy.
      • While on chemo, it’s suggested to drink half your body weight in ounces of water plus another twenty-five ounces.
      • So far, my blog/website has reached 4,000+ unique people (133+ avg. per day). Surprisingly, most of my audiences are folks I don’t know. When I originally set out to document my experience, I never thought it would impact this many people or make such an impression. With all the support, encouragement and inspiration I have received, it makes me want to do even more – I plan to give back, continue to raise awareness and hope to help other people express their journey.
      • To this day, I do not feel like I have cancer. I have forced myself to live a normal life as much as possible. I am grateful I have been able to go to work, go out, attend various events, etc. I have done such a good job at it, a few of my friends forget from time-to-time that I have cancer.  The only thing that snaps me back into the reality that I have cancer is that I’ve lost my hair.
        •   Losing all my hair:
          • I will eventually lose all the hair on my head, my face, my chest and downstairs. The rest will just thin out.
            • The hair I have lost is the hair that grows quickly, i.e. the hair on my head and face. However, I will not lose hair that doesn’t grow as fast -Eyebrows, arm and leg hairs.
            • I have weighed myself throughout chemo and I have gained about 10 pounds so far. It’s definitely not what you would expect from chemotherapy. It’s so weird to think I have put on weight instead of losing it. I have gained all that weight due to the steroid medicine. The medicine allows me to retain a bit more fluid then normal, therefore it makes me a bit heavier.
            • The main side effects I’ve had so far:
              • Fatigue – It hits me like a wall. I know I need to relax and get a lot of rest.
              • Hiccups – This is the worst side effect for me so far. Luckily, I have a prescription that subsides them.
              • Soreness – I have a lot of lower back pain where my kidneys are.
              • Hair loss
              • Immune System – During chemo, my immune system is really low. So my cuts, bruises, etc. do not heal as fast as they should. I am EXTREMELY cautious when out in public, so that I can avoid catching anything.
              • Ringing in the ears – Occasionally, I get a random ringing in my ears. It’s extremely annoying when it happens.
Panthers vs 49ers

Panthers vs 49ers

This past weekend was a blast! I was able to attend a friend’s surprise birthday party and go out with them for a bit. The real holy grail of my weekend was the Carolina Panthers VS San Francisco 49ers game! Unfortunately, we lost the game to the 49ers, but the experience I had was definitely a great way to cap off the Panthers’ awesome season #KeepPounding!

Day 13 of treatment was a bit difficult because of the Monday I had. I was able to go back to work on Mon. January 13th for a full day, 9 a.m. – 7p.m. I stayed a little longer to catch up on work and also tried and get ahead. I definitely had overdone going back to work this week because Tuesday morning felt like death. I was exhausted – My whole body was sore and I did not want to get out of bed. Just completely out of it. I contemplated calling in sick to work and just go to chemo – But I decided that if I had made it this far into treatment without backing off, why stop now? I forced myself to get up. I took a long shower to help wake me up, got ready and was off to treatment.

Treatment Day 13

Treatment Day 13

This past Tuesday (1/14/14) was the first day I did not have someone with me during chemotherapy treatment. My dad has been able to accompany me to all my treatments so far, but this week, he will be traveling for work. It’s always the little things in life that you don’t mean to overlook – You don’t know much it helps until it’s gone. I definitely missed having someone with me, but I was able to get to the hospital and knock out my chemo treatment with no problems. A highlight of my day was when I got to see Dr. Casey, the volunteer dog that comes in every Tuesday!

Below is the video I promised you. I made this video so that you will have a better understanding of what I go through during chemo. The things I left out are visitors, talking with nurses and doing work because I want to give you a basic visual aspect on what I go through in the hospital. I hope you enjoy it!  If you want to continue to support me, please visit my “Support Me” page.