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Friday, September 21, 2012

Countdown to Chemo

I'm not alone in dreading my next chemotherapy treatment; my dear husband is too. I'm pretty sure that every person who goes through chemo does what I'm doing now - counting down the days. I felt almost normal and energetic for an entire week yet this Monday, I have to go back for more chemo-juice, and I know it's going to feel not-so-great afterwards and that's how we know the drugs are working to fight or kill the nasty cancer monsters.

After my first session of Taxol and Carboplatin, I felt fine for a couple of days and then I experienced nausea and mouth sores. The mouth sores are those wretched ulcers or canker sores that can drive you crazy with pain. A friend of mine, who went through chemo via her mother, suggested that I gargle with salt water throughout the day to prevent the mouth ulcers so I'm doing that this time!

My next treatment is a mere day before the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest and most solemn day on the Jewish calender. It's also known as, The Day of Atonement. It's accompanied by a 25 hour fast and it's the final day of judgement, a time for closing arguments, the finalization of the Book of Life for the coming year; the verdict. It's so heavy and sobering. I don't know how I'm going to handle the issue of fasting this year. I have always fasted; in the past nearly 12 years, I've fasted while pregnant and breastfeeding.  I've been warned by quite a few people that chemotherapy patients aren't supposed to fast. I cannot imagine not fasting on the holiest day of the year so I'll have to ask my oncologist about it.

I look forward to hearing that final blast of the Shofar at the end of Yom Kippur and looking forward to a new year filled with blessings..... G-d willing.


  1. :( I'm sure it's hard to know what's worse- the dread or the actual treatment.

    I'm plagued with mouth sores from stress. Here's a pain combo I've found really helpful: Gengigel mouth wash (it's behind the pharmacy counter. You have to ask for it)followed by Kanka liquid (kills the pain, comes in a little brown bottle, also at the counter) and some Advil. Goat milk is also very soothing. Some say that absolutely fresh milk heals sores but I've found even cold goat milk or goat milk yogurt very helpful.

    Try not to push yourself on the fasting. Your body I'm sure will need TLC. Gmar chatima TOVAH.

    1. Thank you Abbi! I'm so glad that I posted about the mouth sores... and am receiving this wealth of knowledge about how to soothe and ease the pain. I think the mouth sores were the worst side effect. Hopefully I'll be able to put that worry behind me.

      Gmar Chatima tovah! Wishing you a year of good health, happiness, and blessings!

  2. Some of us do our avodat Hashem by fasting, some of us by eating...
    Wishing you a canker-sore easier time of it, also less nausea, and even more healing. Blessings for a year of peace and love.