Breast Cancer Journey, Zumba

My First Week

Whew, what a long week!  My first chemo treatment was on October 2nd and already it seems like a month ago. I have to admit it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it might be. I find that my imagination can, and often does, create a worse case scenario vision that ends up being far worse than reality. I suppose that’s a good thing and better than the other way around.

I didn’t get sick all week, nothing horrible happened. Most of my current symptoms are annoying at best, at least so far anyway. As told to me by the doctors and those who have shared their experiences with me, we all have our own distinct set of side effects.

The first four days were trying as I undulated through semi-nauseous, really nauseous, hungry but not wanting to eat, light headed from not eating, and tired. Once I figured out that my anti-nauseous medication was making me sleepy and switched to a different medication, things got better from there. My treatment was on a Tuesday and by Saturday afternoon I was feeling close to human again and my appetite started to increase.

From there it just got better. I didn’t teach Zumba all week and very thankful for Michelle and Jennifer covering Thursday. I think Amanda covered Saturday, it’s all a little foggy until Saturday evening.

My energy on Sunday felt great, like almost normal so of course I thought I could teach a Zumba class on Monday. What was I thinking??  Oh wait, I know what I was thinking. I was thinking, “this treatment wasn’t so bad, it was just my first one and I’m feeling alright”, and “I can take it easy and not get all crazy”, and “I do this all the time, my body is used to it”. Maybe I was a little overly optimistic. But in my defense, it’s not like I have a point of reference for this!

I could tell during the first warm up song that things felt weird. Weird like I was pushing through water. Weird like there were little gremlins in my nerves hijacking signals to my muscles. Weird like the horrible taste in my mouth was overwhelming. It was like exercising in someone else body, a much larger, out of shape body. No Bueno Chicas! Ugh… 

I made it as long as I could, about 40 minutes into the hour long class before I had to summon Amanda to take over. It’s a good thing she was there! I ran to the bathroom sure I was going to vomit but a 5 minute rest and some water was apparently all I needed. Again ugh. Why? I’ll say it again: chemo is dumb.

I came returned to class, danced along with Amanda while she led Palola (which was great because that’s one of the songs I’m still learning!) and then we cooled down.

If I had to describe how I felt my first week of chemo it would be kinda like morning sickness…and a hangover… on the last day of a flu virus… while on a boat. Thank you Dree for helping me nail that last part!

And now I’m off to do it again, Zumba anyone?

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