Benadryl and Steroids

safest-steroidsDrugs and time- what a difference they can make! Yesterday, I shared that I was nearly comatose from the massive dose of IV Benadryl they give you proactively before they start the IV chemo drugs. Yesterday, it hit me exceptionally hard- within minutes of it going in the port, I was looking for my blanket and reclining my chair. I ended up sleeping most of the 6 hours we were in the Infusion room. And it felt like I was trying the get beyond anesthetic the whole time. The techs would come in to check on me, take my BP, change a chemo bag, whatever. I would wake up, sort of, and I would even answer their questions. But I couldn’t remember what they asked me and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around…anything. And as soon as they left the room, I was back sleep. It wasn’t until we were leaving that I beginning to feel more like myself. I went to bed early that night and slept pretty hard.  

Then yesterday dawned. The Benadryl had worn off and the steroids had kicked in. I felt like my old self. I had lots of energy. I went to work at the normal time. I got TONS of stuff done. I took a shorter nap. I went in for the opening of our Wednesday Night Fellowship event, which I haven’t done for MANY months. It’s amazing what 24 hours and a shift in medication can do.  

The REAL test will be today and tomorrow. The steroids will have also worn off and we’ll see what the chemo- the only drugs from Tuesday that will still be with me, bless their hearts- will be doing to me!  

People say, “If the steroids make you feel that good, why don’t you stay on them?” Ironically, long-term steroid use is REALLY hard on your body. And you might be saying, “Wait! You’re dumping poison chemo drugs in your body every week and you’re worried about a little steroid use?!” But extended steroid use starts to GREATLY negatively impact your internal organs. And there will be, in the end, a trade-off between the “high” they give you and the damage they do to you. And with my immune system struggling so hard to keep up, the last thing I need are internal organs failing on me. So… 

If all goes according to plan, I will be on this Round of chemo until March- 3 weeks on and one week off for 4 Rounds. If I make it that far, then we will assess whether we can take a break or go for Infusions 5 & 6, which would run us into May. I have never done more than 4 Infusions in any one Round yet.  

It’s very surreal to be talking about March and May of NEXT year. We NEED to consider those dates. But we continue to set short-term goals. And our next short-term goal is Christmas- we are 26 days away. When that day comes, will set our next short-term goal. We continue to find that they are a more helpful, more healthy approach for us. When you go from “perfectly healthy” to “6-8-month death sentence” in 24 hours, it changes your perception, your priorities.  

So, on December 25th, we’’ set the next short-term goal. And then, once we make that, we will set the next one. We honestly don’t talk about the NEXT goal, just the current one. I would imagine we THINK about it, but we don’t talk about it. 

On the other hand, we continue to be very candid with each other about what the future holds, medically speaking. Again, we are hopeful pragmatists. We continue to put our trust in God and here we are, 18 months later, still plugging. Here we are, having doctors ask, with genuine amazement and incredulity in their voice, “How are you still alive?!” But we also have done a TON of work behind the scenes to make sure that we are in the best position we could be in should this all go south one day.  

We continue to focus on the glass being half-full. We continue to embrace each day with grateful thanksgiving. #TheGlovedAvenger #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! #Huzzah! We greatly appreciate your prayers, love and support. Check back regularly or simply subscribe to receive an email every time there is a new post. Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed day. Please make sure and come back again tomorrow, and stick with Jesus!

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