Hi friends! I’m still in the first chemo Cycle since I wasn’t able to get chemo on Day 9 (which was Friday). Unfortunately my white blood cell count was too low to have chemo, so they gave me a Neulasta shot and fluids. I’m hoping we can make up the missed chemo tomorrow or early this week. (Monday Update: my oncologist wants me to skip day 9 of this cycle (the one I couldn’t get on Friday) and give the Nulasta shot time to work). So, I’ll be starting cycle 2, day 1 as planned on October 7th).
Switching gears a little, I have a “chemo care package” blog post from awhile ago (it’s the question I get asked most often)…..but since I’ve been using some different things this time around, I figured it would be worth revisiting. Since I’m out of town for my treatments this time, I ended up setting up an Amazon “Wish List” of things I needed/wanted. I shared the list with friends and family who really want to send something “physical”. I just made this list yesterday, but I plan on updating it as things come up that we need. For those asking, here’s a link to my wish list below on Amazon. (As always, no pressure…your prayers are enough)💜
NEW things I’ve been using during chemo 2.0:
1. Chewy Ginger Candy. (Friday when I couldn’t keep anything down this was the first thing I tried to eat later that evening and it worked. I’m a believer. Ginger People Chews (Also, let’s face it, it’s very hard to be on a strict diet when you’re nauseous….so if you find something that works just go with it). Side note…..I’m certain I’m using the tense wrong…..nauseous?……nauseated? Which is it?
2. Claritin (for bone pain associated with the Nulasta shot).
3. A Lap Desk that tilts like this one: Lap Desk on Amazon (Mine isn’t exactly the same but pretty similar). I like being able to work or write from my bed when I’m not feeling great.
4. Disposable Face Masks : You can get these anywhere. I do like the pretty ones from Etsy, but sometimes it’s easier to just grab a fresh mask because you accidentally just dropped your cute mask face down in the dirty a** parking lot. (Please tell me I’m not the only one experiencing this?) I was wearing masks during chemo long before Rona was a thing, but masks are certainly a necessary item for anyone going through chemo to have on hand. P.S. You’ll see some overlap in this blog and my Amazon Wish List which is fine. My wish list will ebb and flow….but I wanted to put some of the main things on the blog.
5. Extension Cord with USB outlets. This is a lifesaver for me.
6. PJ’s you wouldn’t buy for yourself: These are from HoneyDew and I love them.
7. Pretty water bottle to bring to chemo (see above).
8. Comfortable Sweatshirt to wear to the hospital (see below). If you ever buy clothes for anyone I would run it by them first. They may not need any more……sweatshirts for example 🙂
9. Emotional Support Animal: I’m kind of kidding on this one, but not really. I’m SO glad Geneva is here with me during treatment. She’s been so sweet and honestly living her BEST life 🙂 (Mom is doing the heavy lifting obviously…..but having Geneva here makes me less homesick). Speaking of homesick….I talked to Mark and I’m hoping he will be able to come visit soon. I don’t like being away from him for this long 🙂 Mark if you’re reading this…..book your flight 🙂 ❤️
10. Additional Creative Options: Everyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE all things Bravo….so this was one of the most creative care packages I received (all Bravo themed) haha.
12. Eye Drops for Dry eyes like “Systane”. Chemo dries out your eyes….so this is something practical you can get for a friend if they don’t have some already. Sidenote: we discovered that my vision was likely blurred because of the Scopolamine nausea patches. Soooo that’s a relief!
I’d like to digress for just a moment to discuss Nausea. If you’ve been struggling with nausea during chemo (like me), I would contact your nurse or oncologist. Ask them to come up with a “schedule” for you to try. We’ve been following the one below (for the most part) and it has helped (sometimes I skip a dose during the day b/c I’m working). But the point is, get on a schedule with the nausea meds and stick to it. I have alarms set on my phone which helps keep me on track. My mom has been crucial to getting me on a nausea meds schedule. If you feel too overwhelmed, just ask a family member or a trusted friend to be your meds manager 🙂 I’m hoping my next round might be a tad more bearable with this schedule. Famous last words right? 😉 I will say, there isn’t anything quite as humbling as throwing up (alone) in your infusion room cubical 😉. As such, I am going to try and prevent that from happening next time 😉
13. FaceTime Dates: I know this isn’t something you can “buy”, but one thing that has helped me not feel so lonely during this time is scheduling FaceTime Calls with my friends and family. Exhibit A Below 🙂
Thanks for sticking with me and reading to the end. As always, keep those prayers coming. I’m honestly feeling hopeful that this chemo could work for me….and that’s exactly what I’m asking God to handle 🙂 I want more years on earth, and more time with the people I love❤️
⭐️ Holly Hollis Stars ⭐️