Thank you so much for many of your supports. I really appreciate your kindness and love for me to recover. I was able to come out from sucky feelings now and continue to write my ups and down of my recovery to share my real life with you.
Before my fifth round chemo treatment scheduled, I was able to see my oncologist to talk about how I have been feeling weak and very fatigued, with new side effects. I asked her if I could take a one-week break from chemotherapy.
She said, “No—it is not recommended to take a break from chemo.”
The reason was that my blood test results are all good. The cause of my weakness and fatigue is, unfortunately, because that’s what chemo does to my body.
She reminded me of what she’d said before I started chemo: “Feeling weak and fatigued will be a part of chemo. As each chemo progresses, you will feel weaker and more fatigued.”
Many of cancer patients go through much worse than what I have been going through during chemotherapy. They have been hospitalized because of infections, kidney failure, liver complication, damage to lung tissue, heart problems, and more.
My oncologist also said I do not have any serious issues so far.
I am a healthy person overall because I have lived a healthy life with plant-based foods and yoga before I got sick. I am still taking care of myself with holistic approaches and good foods, even now.
I told her I have been craving all kinds of foods I usually don’t eat—salty, spicy, and sweet foods. I have different tastes – metallic and bitter tastes in my mouth and I am not able to enjoy most of the food I like, so I am not able to keep up my standard macrobiotic, healing foods. (Believe it or not, I get a really bad taste when I eat hijiki, arame, kale, and collard greens. I recently had to stop eating miso, soy sauce, and so much more.)
She said, “You’ve never had lymphoma cancer and chemotherapy (I was diagnosed cancer of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver, stage IV because of Hepatitis C that I got from the blood transfusion result of the car accident in 2001 and receiving EPOCH + Rituximab chemotherapy which is five days chemotherapy for 24 hours a day every three weeks since May 2017) , and your body is not like before. So, just don’t be so strict with your foods, and eat what you enjoy. Of course, moderate between what you think is good and what tastes good.”
She was so right; I was trying too hard to eat the “right foods.” I was feeling stress and guilt.
I was also taking my body temperature in the morning, afternoon and night, and I was worried when I had a little fever. She told me to stop taking my temperature so often because physiologically, I was setting up stress. I thought she was right on this one, too.
I felt much better after I talked to her. I am so appreciative that I have the right oncologist, who understands my lifestyle and supports me.
One thing she recommended I do before I went home that day was a chest X-ray because I’d started to have a little cough and low fever at night after my fourth round of chemo—so I did.
I had only two more rounds of chemo left, so I was to just get lots of rest everyday and not worry so much before my fifth chemo round so I relax a lot.
I went to my fifth chemo round last Monday, Aug. 21st. Just as I arrive an infusion station, my oncologist called. She said, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, I can give you what you requested, which is one week off from chemo. So, today you go home and relax, and come back next week. The bad news is: The chest X-ray showed that you have pneumonia. There is no medication or anything I can give you since this is a side effect from chemo. So, you need to get lots of rest and enjoy one week.”
I could not believe what I’d heard.
I’ve never had pneumonia and did not know chemo could cause it.
I am not sure if this is good or bad, but since I was coughing so little, I did not think it was that bad. And since I stopped worrying about taking my body temperature, I do not have a low fever at night anymore. So, I decided that I just got my wish, which is one week off from chemo.
I wish I did not get pneumonia, but I got my wish.
Worrying it right now is not going to help me so I searched about pneumonia with chemotherapy on the Internet to learn more.
I found out that pneumonia is the most frequent type of infection during chemotherapy and Chemotherapy related pneumonitis could cause a have long-term side effects. So I am concerned.
Here are symptoms of pneumonia that I found from Chemocare.com
Symptoms of Pneumonia Include:
- You may notice chest “tightness”; difficulties getting a “good breath”, feelings of breathlessness, or that you are hungry for air.
- You may have chest pain on the side of your infection
- You may notice that you are “wheezing”, when you breathe.
- You may have fever, shaking chills, or a headache.
- You may feel confused, or have a heart rate that is faster than normal.
- You may have pain in your muscles, or pain in your lungs when you take a deep breath, especially if you are coughing really hard, for long periods of time.
- You may be overly tired, or very weak (fatigued). It may be hard for you to do any kind of your normal activities.
- You may have sudden onset of “coughing spells”, or a long-term (chronic) cough. You may or may not be able to bring up any secretions (sputum) at first, or you may bring up greenish-yellow, or rusty-colored sputum.
- You may experience shortness of breath, either at rest or while performing any type of activity. This may include walking to the door, or climbing stairs.
- You may have trouble lying flat in bed, and you may have to sleep on 2 or more pillows. Your shortness of breath may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
I only have had a cough at night mostly and low fever with tiredness. But having a break from chemo and taking rest last few days I am already gaining my strength with no fever and almost no cough now.
I have started to practice breathing exercise for getting better from pneumonia “Breath in slowly through my nose, hold breath for 5 seconds and breathe out slowly through my nose. Repeat this at least a few times or more each 4 hours.” I think it is helping me a lot. The key is slowly.
I am just going to continue enjoying this week and taking it easy and being good to myself.
Because of the fifth round chemo got reschedule and I came home, I was able to see eclipse on Monday 21st. It was so exciting to see it with my own eyes. It was so orange just like the color of Epoch chemo that I have been receiving (I wrote about it on My First Chemotherapy. ) I felt that all is a good sign from now on.
I tried to take a photo, but it did not get a good shot so here is a similar image of eclipse I saw.
Love, Sanae 💖
Thank you for your prayers and continuous support!
We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraising to Support Sanae’s Recovery from Cancer or purchasing our books directly from us to cover my medical expenses.
Here are our books:
My post mailing address for sending your card, gift or check (check payable to Eric Lechasseru):
2610A 23rd St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
I will not be able to personally reply to each person, but I promise I will read everyone’s messages, emails, and cards.
Love, Sanae 💖