Well, chemo side effects continue to affect my life even on the ‘good’ week of the cycle. The fatigue is more persistent in this early stage than I remember it being during the previous chemo course. Lower GI distress is about on par, and now that the nausea is gone (since sometime over the weekend, more or less) I can handle that. No fun, but I can handle it. My mental state is better, but my mental energy is impeded by the overall fatigue.
At least the food intolerances haven’t kicked in full time yet. I can still enjoy my meals, and I’m making the most of it.
Medical and sexual TMI
As I discussed during the last go-round, chemo also has a strong impact on erectile function. Which is to say, it’s completely gone. This is much sooner than the previous treatment course, but on a par with the accelerated fatigue, unfortunately. Somewhat more interestingly (and distressingly), my libido is also noticeably flattened. Not gone, but reduced and somewhat abstracted. That never really happened on the previous treatment course.
I’m not in a serious life relationship any more, and don’t expect to have the emotional energy or physical wherewithal to develop one any time in the next 12-15 months, given how long the effects of chemo go on. Maybe this failure of libido is a function of my lack of significant emotional and sexual commitment, as contrasted with my life situation last time. Hard to untangle cause and effect at this point.
At any rate, I have three more days to enjoy being myself even in this somewhat reduced capacity before the chemo hammer drops again.