Day 6: I had a hard time sleeping because of an odd pain. If I hadn’t had a port placement and chemotherapy recently, I might have passed it off as nothing to be concerned about, but I’m in somewhat unknown territory for myself. I had pain around my sinus cavity: under, around, and above my eye, with pain at my temple, and pain in my jaw. The odd part was that it was only on the right side of my face. I’ve had that kind of sinus pain when it’s dry in the desert, but not only on one side. After tossing and turning and trying to massage away the pain, I eventually called the nurse triage at my infusion center that morning. She went through all of the questions, and she eventually told me it doesn’t sound related to my treatment, but she recommended that I go get it checked out. Well…as much as I was concerned, going to a germy ER for what I was experiencing didn’t seem worth the trade off. I made the, maybe ill-advised, decision to take some Tylenol, and then go from there. Thankfully that worked. Once it wore off, I could feel the pain but it was much more mild. My working theory is that as the chemotherapy can dry the mouth, perhaps it can also dry the sinuses. I made sure to stay on top of my fluids, and I’m feeling better today, Day 7.

Day 7: I’m feeling kind of like my usual self. I think part of the off-feeling is being shell-shocked from the past 6 days. I’d say there is still a bit of fog, but I feel much more coherent. I’ve been able to joke a bit and talk for my dogs, so that’s indicative of having more energy. My appetite is still low, but maybe not much more than it was before. Tongue sores are still present but still managed by mouth rinse. I’d give myself a rating of feeling at about 80-90% today. I hate to say that, because I don’t want to eat my words. However, technically, I should be on the upswing before my next infusion rather than getting hit again. I think I might be at risk of my blood cell count dropping between now and then, but I think that’s the main side effect risk until then. I could definitely have that wrong. I mean, I haven’t done this before.

The psychological side of this is interesting. I knew this was going to be hard, but for some reason, I didn’t expect to have so much dread about the next cycle. I definitely get flushed with anxiety when I think I do this whole thing again in 7 days. I have an oncology appointment with the NP on Wednesday and my blood draw on Friday, so it kind of feels like a week of prep for the next smackdown. I’m trying to reframe and be appreciative for some 80% + days between now and then, but I also need to be cautious not to feel the pressure of needing to accomplish whatever I want before next Monday. I’m pretty sure I’m still supposed to rest and take it easy, at least to some extent. So, yeah, as someone with anxiety/depression and panic disorder pre-diagnosis, this has been a test of my coping skills and my medications. So far they seem to be working.

We shall see what tomorrow brings.