Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Day 6 - 6th Chemo Cycle

I awoke this morning in very good spirits.  This is odd because in all the other cycles on Day 6 I have fallen into a deep, dark hole for two days.  So up I arose, full of optimism despite the dreary weather, to meet the new day.  I was hungry which is again different than all the other 5 cycles I've endured.  I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat for breakfast so I decided to do my daily readings out of "The Friendship Book 2012" and "The Book of Awakening" before eating.  After I read in the mornings, I take some time to meditate and think about what I've read.  Since the end of November 2011, my thoughts and ruminations have always been about what is going on in my life immediately.  I haven't looked too far ahead.  Today as I sat with my thoughts, I realized that I'm starting to look beyond the next two weeks.  I find myself starting to look ahead to the future.

My stomach was now starting to grumble and I was craving an Egg McMuffin.  So I made a fried egg sandwich and I didn't care about whether or not I should be eating eggs or bread or whatever because of the thrush.  I took great pleasure in frying my egg over easy and then watching the cheddar cheese melt on the egg in the hot pan.   The egg slid out of the pan onto my hot, buttered toast so easily.  I sliced some fresh tomatoes and laid them over the cheese.  I then cut some alfalfa sprouts from my tray that I planted in February and piled them on top of the tomatoes.  To it all I added crispy romaine lettuce leaves and then topped with my other slice of toast.  It was so good!  I'm finding that throughout the last four to six months, colours are more vivid and when my taste buds are working food tastes marvelous.  I finished my breakfast and had my thrush medication which unfortunately wiped out the wonderful taste of my breakfast.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

At this point, I was tired out just from making my breakfast and cleaning it up.  So what better opportunity to think deeply in the quietness of my morning.  When I become still and peaceful, sometimes images and imagery come clearly to my thoughts.  This morning, I envisioned myself as a butterfly getting ready to emerge from her cocoon with all the new possibilities for a better life.  In some ways as I finish this chemotherapy and get stronger, I feel like a baby bird nesting on a cliff and getting ready to soar out above the water.  What new possibilities and changes can I bring to my life?  Do I want to consider a new career path?  As I had these thoughts, I realized that I may be hindered by lack of energy.  I've heard that recovering from chemotherapy and getting your full energy levels back takes a while.  How long is a while?  Three months?  A year?  Do I really have the energy and the desire to make a change in career?  It's so easy to stay in the comfortable area of our lives.  Do I really want to make drastic changes?  What if the lymphoma returns?  What if cancer comes back in another form?  This is when I realized the "what ifs" can be caused by thinking too far ahead.  So for today, I'll stay in my comfort zone and think to the end of May or maybe until the end of June.  I do realize that I have been given an opportunity to have a new start and a new approach to life.

While I came to the end of my pondering moments, I realized I had a terrible headache.  It felt just like when the last chemotherapy drug goes into me and I get a massive sinus headache.  The headache is pinpointed right between the eyebrows.  As I was sinking into the doldrums of pain, I realized that perhaps my Day 6 dark hole was just late in arriving.  I then took a nap in the hopes of sleeping off the headache.

As my day progressed, I noticed that the headaches returned within 1 to 2 hours of taking the Nystatin.  I'm assuming they are a temporary side effect.  Great....a new side effect arrives just when you think you've figured out the whole ebb and flow of the treatment cycles.  The rest of my day was spent resting and fighting headaches.

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