If you asked Mom about her experiences this round compared to last round, she'd tell you this round was much worse. She'd say she's sicker and in more pain. She'd tell you it's harder for her to catch her breath, and she seems more confused. However, if you were to ask me or Hans, we'd have a far different story to tell.
Going into the first round of chemo was difficult. She had that the week after her stint in the ER, and she had her port put in the day before chemo started. She was easily confused, and her mental status was like that of a 4 year old (something which is usually a joke regarding my mom, but in this case was quite serious). She cried due to the pain she was in, and I actually called her doctor, concerned that there was a leak in her port (there wasn't). She begged to go back to the ER in the hopes they'd remove her port. She felt a great deal of nausea, and while she never actually vomited she came awfully close. And then, about a week after chemo, she started to feel better.
Suddenly, she was more of my mom. What she said made sense. The way she moved seemed easy (or at least easier). She went out for lunch with guests and really seemed to do well. We hit our first chemo speed bump (hair loss), but she seemed to take it in stride. She got excited over some of the head wraps I got for her, and she just seemed to be happier. Oh, and she was taking fewer pain meds. Instead of the maximum dosage of Percoset, she started asking for very small doses of Tramadol. These were all great signs.
And then we had to start chemo round 2. Some things were the same as before. She was beyond tired at the end of each day. The excess fluids they gave her caused her to swell, and that caused some significant pain. She definitely experienced nausea (this time with vomiting), but everything seemed to a lesser degree. She never did need the highest dose of pain meds. While she needed the nausea meds, she didn't have nearly as hard a time taking them, and she never stopped eating completely like she had before. She could always stomach a smoothie or popsicle or something.
Now, she's almost back to her normal self. She's eating regularly (and voraciously). She's asking me to take short walks with her (great for recovery), and most importantly she's completely coherent. In fact, she's even planning a girls night with a couple of her friends. I'm excited for her.
In the mean time, Hans and I finally got her moved out of her apartment, and now we just have to find a spot for her stuff. Life is busy, but better, so that's good.
Thank you to everyone for all your continued support. It means so much!