We’ve all had it happen - we do a load of white t-shirts, underwear and socks, but when we take it out of the washer, we find the dreaded red sock and now all the white laundry is pink. This is like me during my wash cycle. It is during this period that I am most susceptible to foreign germs and other nasties. My blood counts drop drastically in the first seven days of my cycle, so it is important for me to be aware of this and to do what I can to stay away from any possible infectors.
I did jinx myself last time after all, so at this time I’m not going to make any blanket statements about how things are going. But in general...
The Rinse Cycle.
Here I am again, the cheerful little washing machine. And now that we’ve gone through the wash cycle and gotten all soapy and agitated, it’s time for a rinse. And what happens in the rinse cycle? The soapy bleachy water drains from the washtub and new clean water fills it back up. And then there is more agitation while the clothes gets rinsed. Also, if liquid softener is being used, this is the time to add it.
How does this relate to the second week of my cycle?
First, the side effects that are caused by my chemo start to lessen, as if the effects of the chemicals are being drained from my body. This is not necessarily because the drugs are leaving me, but they are affecting me a little less. I’m not sleeping quite so much, and I can back off the laxatives because my body is more happy having a Numero Dos.
During this time, it is helpful for me to fill up with healthy food and lots of water. While I’m sleeping so much during the wash cycle, I’m not eating as much. But as I sleep less, I become more active, and I’m more hungry. It’s important that I eat lots of good protein and not fill up on starches and breads. My favorites are edamame (soybeans) and meats of all sorts. Jeff and I enjoy Steak Fridays, and we eat hard boiled eggs and lots of turkey-based meats. One of the side effects of my chemo is anorexia because it takes away your appetite. So I take it very seriously that I need to eat well.
And while in the rinse cycle, I may need some medication to “soften” the remaining side effects. Some of these are anxiety and minor pain. Because of my catheter, I’m not only experiencing pain from the chemo (which just feels like twinges in my abdomen), but I’m also having various pains from the rubber tube in my Urethra Franklin. (← My husband gets all the credit for that joke.)
I am also still immuno-compromized, so I have to be very careful to whom and what I expose myself. No parties. No shopping malls. No grocery stores. No raves. No mud wrestling. (Just checking to see if you’re still paying attention LOL!)
Along with all those typical happenings of my rinse cycle, I have had the disturbing trend of things going wrong during this period. In my first treatment, I ended up in the hospital during the rinse cycle. In the next treatment, I ended up with what we thought was a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) but what turned out to be irritation from the catheter tube itself. And since those are the only treatments I’ve had for this regimen, I’m 0-2.
Tomorrow I go for my third treatment. I’m also having my catheter changed, so I’m crossing my fingers that this will help solve some of those issues. And I’m hopeful that as time goes on, I’ll know more and more what to expect and will be able to anticipate problems before they happen and take measures to alleviate them.
|sunny spring bunnies|
On another note, I enjoyed a short but entirely fabulous visit from my Mom and my sister Julie, which was a great addition to my treatment regimen. We overdid things a bit, but overall it was wonderful to see them. Which got me thinking that maybe this is exactly what I need - a visit at the end of every rinse cycle. Who’s next?
Stay tuned for.....you guessed it.....the Spin Cycle!