Monday, October 22, 2012

A Normal Weekend

Nothing overly deep today, but it's been nearly a week since last post, so some quick thoughts.

The second weekend after chemo is my life-returns-to-normal weekend. While the fog lifts by Tuesday, the effects linger like a bad dream that you can't quite completely escape; just when you think it's out of your memory, it appears again as a momentary glimpse of nausea, or tired legs that shouldn't be tired.

In some ways, I was smarter this time around. I managed my work schedule much better. And I kept my weekend plans to a minimum. But in other areas I'm still learning. My two biggest challenges are: sleep and hydration. I've always been able to get by on about  6-7 hour of sleep but in the first two weeks of chemo cycle, that just doesn't cut it. A standard eight hours is mandatory if  I want to manage the fatigue. Hydration (or lack of it) exacerbates the fatigue. Of course, the problem with hydration is that I'm already waking up every 2-3 hours every night in the first few nights because of all the fluids that I've retained.

I'm learning too, the differences between the fatigue which I classify as LF or NLF (limiting fatigue or non-limiting fatigue). Take yesterday, a glorious fall day in New England with warm temps, a light wind and crystal clear skies. After a short bike ride with Noah (Matthew is still in his cast until, we hope, this morning), my legs felt a little tired. Keep in mind that Noah is 8 and we only rode about 2 miles, with a long break halfway through to watch a little local soccer action (go Leila). So with an hour and a half to go before the Patriots kick off, and the temperature still hovering around 65, the question was: do I interpret the mildly tired legs as a need for rest, or as a need to run? LF or NLF?

I ran.

And after two quick miles, I knew I made the right decision. The running was easy. The music was good and the legs were not an issue. And ever since the run, I haven't felt a bit of fatigue. Whether that's the exercise, or simply the post-chemo calendar turning, I'm not sure, but I think at least part of it is exercise driven.

We now enter the two plus weeks of feeling good until next cycle - hopefully with several good runs in there.