My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue with laughter and optimism on my journey...

Week 1 Update... let the AC begin!

Episode XV: Times like these




It was one week from my very first chemotherapy treatment. I have made it and am doing well. I am not nauseous. I am in only moderate discomfort. I am only moderately fatigued. Overall, a very tolerable and manageable week (with some help those first few days). So, here's just a general update:


1. Less insanely purple. The crazy huge bruise on my left arm ever since the Nuclear Stress Test is starting to get better...




2. Bonus! Apparently, I was allergic to the glue on the bandage tape used from my port surgery. My port stitches got removed and the bandage rash has almost gone away...




3. Sweet! I still have my fingernails and hair on my head and other places...




4. Bone Pain Go Away Come Again Another Day! The Neulasta shot made my bones produce insane amounts of white blood cells, so it caused intense pain for around a week. Seems like my bones and muscles are still sore, but it could be worse. The general bone pain was slowly going away, but when I walk it can act up. Also, pain will occur on the side I sleep on. Lots of rotating at night...





5. I got fire tongue!! My tongue burns like it was on fire, so I get to endure special "Magic Mouthwash" to help cure it. The mouthwash causes an immediate heat reaction to the mouth, hyping the fire feeling up, until after about 15 minutes it becomes numb. I haven't gotten mouth sores so, I guess it was a good thing. However, my tongue burns, even more with food and water and does not fully cool off...

"Come on baby light my fire" 
- The Doors lyrics from Light My Fire song Light My Fire



6. Speaking of my mouth! My taste buds were pretty much obliterated. There was always an odd taste in my mouth and it definitely affected the ways food tasted. Mostly, I wanted bland food which tend to be carbs - argh - ruining my "cancer diet" plan. Plus, the doctors don't want me to lose weight, what were they thinking - it was the one bonus to this thing...




7. Dang exercise! Why do I still want to be healthy? I have lost a lot of my energy and ability to exercise the way I like. My mind was making commitments my body could not keep! It was odd because my mind still wanted to go, but my body just couldn't. So, I kept after my pathetic, lousy 3 block walk down the neighborhood; 6 blocks including the return trip. However, it still remains my nemesis and a daily reminder of life and pain...




8. Man Brain! Not to insult my male friends and family, but I have gotten turned into a slow thinker. I called it "pregnancy brain", but my husband said I now know what it feels like to be a guy. I probably process conversations and think of things I should have said or done around a couple of hours after it happens. I am an easy target for two children!!! Either way, I have gotten mentally slower especially when tired (which tends to be a lot)...



In my head...


Overall, I cannot complain too much. That first week could have been so much worse. While there were moments, I have found that I am stronger than I believed. A positive outlook can be light in the darkest of places. Hanging on to humor and love.


"But it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." 
- Alice from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland


Episode Reference: Times Like These, Foo Fighter song

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About Amy Brock

Amy Brock is a cancer fighter and survivor. Diagnosed with Infiltrating Breast Cancer at 38 she has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and other procedures since 2013. Post treatment she has been diagnosed with lymphedema, chemo-induced neuropathy and bone degeneration in her back, as well as other issues including dysphagia, bilateral hearing loss, and arthritis. From being completely healthy, to having a variety of issues, Amy began blogging about her experiences as a way to help others. Read more about finding humor in the craziness of cancer at her blog www.tatawarrior.com Amy is the mother of two children and has worked for various non-profit agencies. In addition, she is a fine artist creating works in multiple mediums which can be seen at www.amybrock.com

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