Chemotherapy - week 2
Week 2 sees my Mother still in hospital recovering from the effects of the first cycle of chemotherapy. For 70, she's actually very active and independent, we regularly walk 2 miles every day and she does a lot of housework. But that was before chemotherapy. Now, we've agreed that she will concentrate on the following 4 things only:
- Eating. Chemotherapy really messes with eating habits. After treatment, she would vomit the majority of her meals. Now that she's stopped vomiting, she has no appetite. We are experimenting with food combinations at the moment but eating has become a topic now which we used to take for granted. I think though, that 12 days after her first treatment, her appetite is returning and she does not feel nauseous. It's comforting to know this side effect passes with time.
- Drinking. My mum's goal is to consume a minimum of 2 litres of water on a daily basis. This is to help flush out her system of toxins and keep her hydrated. In my Mother's case, chemotherapy has made her dehydrated and the replenishment of this fluid is essential. The antibiotics she was given for her infection has effected her kidneys. Hence the prolonged stay in hospital.
- Rest. Chemotherapy is both invasive and intensive on the body - it is psychologically and physically exhausting. A lot of fluids are lost from the body and for some, the reduction in red and white blood cells can really drain the person. A lot of rest is required for my mum at the moment.
- Exercise. It's important to keep the body active and therefore the immune system strong to be able to fight infections and endure treatment. Physical activity also stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.
These 4 things have therefore consumed her daily activities and in turn mine as she recovers from the effects of neutropenic sepsis. She is more stable and slowly recovering.