More Chemo, It’s All Cool 

Last Thursday marked the half way point of my rads. They did a few X-rays to make sure there’s no swelling and that the tattoos still line up correctly. And then on to the zap zap. 

Today was my 14th radiation treatment and it is definitely getting roasty toasty at the rad site. I’m applying calendula lotion a few times a day and a thicker balm at nighttime. It’s not really painful unless Harlon tries to wrestle me. Soooo it’s often painful. 

Remember how I said they play music in the radiation room? Well today they were playing some awful smooth jazz/ love song mix. Not my fav and then on came Chicago. I hate Chicago. I don’t hate many things but that band makes my body want to find remnants of my lunch from last Tuesday and vomit it right up. Thankfully they changed it (to some smooth Kenny G) but not without giving me some shit. I was taking to Chuck, one of the techs, about how toasty my radiated area is getting. He said “Well you know what really helps? Putting a little Chicago on it.” 
I’ll burn. 

After radiation, I literally ran across the parking lot to my oncology appointment to make it on time. Man, I was winded. But I’m pretty sure that the non-boob deal shaved off 1-2 minutes, so that’s cool. Bonus- no obnoxious boob bounce to control as I sprinted. 

It’s always nice to see my oncologist. She reassures me each time that things are looking great. Today we discussed starting an oral chemotherapy drug called Xeloda since there were residual tumor cells left from my previous chemo found during surgery. I would begin sometime after radiation. The side effects are minimal compared to the Taxol/Carboplatin and AC. This one may include fatigue, GI issues, hand and foot rash, and mouth sores. I can deal, I have been through worse. I left her office feeling optimistic. 

When I was pregnant with Wyatt, I was crazy sick. I mean, I was super sick with Harlon too. Vomiting all day long, super dehydrated and all that jazz. But with H, it went away around the 4 month mark and I was on my way of eating each Orange County In’N’Out out of all their double doubles. Fun fact- before being pregnant with H, I didn’t eat meat for several years. 

With Wyatt, it never stopped. I would puke wherever, whenever. It interfered with my job, my family, it was rough. At the same time, I realized that I was insanely depressed. Like scary depressed. Luckily I had the most amazing midwife and she helped me through it. I was prescribed Zoloft and that was the best thing that could have happened. My only wish is that I would have started it sooner. It didn’t help with the nausea but it helped with the panic that came along with the sudden urge to vomit in random places. Like the McDonalds parking lot. 

Looking back, with what I know now and talking with a therapist for several months, I definitely had post partum depression after H. I didn’t know it then. No one really talks openly about the yucky parts of parenting. Yes, poop and lack of sleep are common taking points but not so much about how mom is doing. Other than the occasional question of “did you tear?” Ouch. Everyone just seems so happy- life is unicorns and rainbows and baby giggles. I rode zero unicorns, saw no rainbows, and baby screaming replaced giggles for a good amount of time. I just thought I wasn’t a good mother and couldn’t hang. After H turned one, I began to mellow out and then BOOM baby Filloon round 2 was upon us. 

I had never felt physically worse in my life. I’d see men out in public and rage would fill me. Envy. I’d find myself grumbling while driving past them. A curse word here and there. They would never have to feel this awful because they would never be pregnant. Jerks. 
Sometimes I feel a similar anger in regards to C. But it’s a little different now. Like last week, I saw a guy, super happy on the phone. My first thought was “what the hell is he so happy about?” I had to physically shake my head and stop myself. What the hell was wrong with me? I would never wish this on anyone. Let him be happy! And what the heck do I know about his personal life? NOTHING! He might have his own mountain lion. But I hear misery loves company. I’m definitely not miserable but I was having a moment.  Thankfully I snapped out of it. 

The last part of the blog sort of went on a tangent. But the point is to let you all know that you see me in pictures and in person with a huge smile on my face majority of the time. (I smile when I’m nervous, scared, uncomfortable, happy, relaxed… I guess it’s the opposite of resting bitch face) but sometimes things are really hard. I’m not brave. At least that’s not how I’d ever describe myself. But if I have this sort of platform, I figure I can share whatever I want in hopes that it may resonate and help someone else. 

5 thoughts on “More Chemo, It’s All Cool 

  1. Well, you know sometimes your blogs make me so proud of you. This is one of those. You might not think you are brave but to be able to share the highs as well as the lows definitely puts you in brave with spades category. Love you to pieces❤️😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are THE MOST honest human being that I have ever known. That’s what makes you strong, and why we all love you. You are brave because you are so honest about life.–your life as well as all of our lives. You literally have an army of people here for you so lean on someone or laugh or cry or scream with all of us. You ARE brave and we love you. Life sucks sometimes but then there are people like you that make it okay. You are BRAVE kid. ❤

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  3. I’ve said this a few times after reading your blogs but I will say again…I know how you feel and I am so amazed by your honestly and amazing articulation of putting your thoughts into words. You are brave and your smile is infectious…even if it’s when you’re nervous, relaxed, happy, etc ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just adore you Jess. And I’m sorry you were going through such a dark and difficult time with PPD…good thing you knew enough to ask for help and that the Zoloft actually did work. You are amazing. So brave even if you don’t think it ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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