Yesterday was radiation day 5! That means I am more than halfway there, I only have four more to go! That is kind of cool and exciting. I will be glad to have the daily early afternoon back. Going in at 2:40 everyday does not seem that bad unless you are also trying to homeschool three kids and get a ride from someone. The radiation has been fairly painless. I did notice some soreness in the back of my neck starting Friday after radiation and also Tuesday. I think it was the muscles reacting a little to the radiation around them and also those are both gymnastics days where I get to watch my youngest while I sit on some very flexible bleachers that let me feel every step of every person. So that may have had something to do with the soreness. Watching soccer from the car does not seem to bother my neck as much. The other symptom from the radiation seems to be fatigue. On the other hand that is also a symptom of the new medication, Ibrance, that I started taking on Sunday. Not sure if I am getting fatigue from both or just from the Ibrance. I am guessing both. I was worried that since the pill was larger, almost as large as the calcium that I cannot swallow, that I would not be able to swallow it. This would have been a problem because it is a capsule and cannot be opened or crushed like the calcium. Fortunately, the pill is a soft shell and it seems to go right down as long as I take it in the morning.
My surgeon had told me I could take my brace off during the night as my neck is supported by my pillow. I find if I leave my brace off most of the night that when I wake up in the morning I have less swallowing issues and my tongue and face feel like they have a little more sensation. I am hopeful that this bodes well for when I get the brace off at the end of the month, and that I will start to see a lot more improvement in my tongue sensation and my face control. Right now I have a hard time getting my lower right lip out of the way of the food I am biting. But I was talking about swallowing my new pill. The night off from constriction of the brace gives me better mouth and swallowing control so I have been able to get that pill down. On Sunday and Monday I definitely noticed fatigue in the afternoons. I have read that this can improve, but given that I am doing radiation simultaneously, I will not really know until after the radiation ends.
The fatigue is definitely manageable right now. I just keep the homeschooling light, just a few subjects a day. Then I try to rest in the morning on days when I know we have a lot going on in the afternoons. In fact yesterday we had a lot going on in the afternoon so I picked fun self sufficient activities for the kids that did not even require me at all. Then I sat in the recliner and rested. They felt good, and I felt good going into the afternoon. Tuesday we had some heightened emotions in the family which is to be expected in a situation like this especially when you throw in that my husband has a cast on his arm from his surgery. This is another reason we took it light yesterday. I had some chats with the kids about their emotions and then their art was play dough which is great for all of their sensory issues and definitely helps to bring them back to center. I think my plan may have actually worked, and everyone was great last night.
On the exercise front I have been working at meeting my watch step goals. If I meet them they go up for the next day. This week I have done pretty well, getting 3 out of the 5 days. I was able to get in a 1.5 mi walk to the mailbox this week. I need to do more of those, but with the radiation and the homeschooling It is hard to fit it in. Today I tried just doing some step ups while I waited for my coffee to brew. That was harder than I anticipated it being. Which means I should do more of those. I should try adding squats too, because when I am putting dishes away I still have a hard time getting back up and have to grab the counter. I always say the more you do the more you can do. So time to get moving on the days when I can’t get out and go for a walk!
I had a phone call from an old college friend yesterday, and she asked how I keep track of everything that the family does on a daily basis. I would love to blog about stuff that does not have to do with cancer, too. So you let me all know if you would be interested in my bullet journal/digital system that helps my chemo brain keep track of our crazy family life. Post a comment on facebook or here at the blog with your opinion.