Author - Yoko Katz

Day 10: Feel almost normal

Day 10 after my chemotherapy.  I feel almost back to normal today.  Yes, I still have mild nausea, but not that noticeable.   In fact, I thought I needed to start some exercises.  My husband is a dedicated runner, but I was not sure if running was my best exercise today.  I asked him to tune up my bicycle.  Bending over to reach ground makes me nauseated, I could not do it myself.  I went for a bike riding while he goes out for running.  I had to stop occasionally when I felt nauseous, but otherwise, I felt good about getting some exercise done.  We were out for over 1 hour.

My appetite came back as well as my taste buds.  I quickly started putting some weight now.  Wow, now it is the time to focus on what I eat, finally.  I don’t get hungry today, I believe because I eat small amount more frequently.  I felt lack of vegetables in my diet for the last 10 days, I craved for vegetables.  My friend brought me my favorite carrot dressing with ginger and honey.   I am set for vegetables!

When I was on a bike, we passed by a store that sells felafels.  I started to explain how to make felafels to my husband as I was riding the bike.  I was excited to find out that “I am thinking about food!”  I greeted myself “Welcome back, Yoko!”

[physically]: Almost back to normal (Oh, thank you!).  I felt some nausea from time to time.  When I am destructed, I forget about it.  A pimple popped out, but nothing noticeable happened for now.   I was afraid that being lower white blood counts could cause some situation, not today.  I don’t notice sore mouth today.

[emotionally]: As I felt normal and did some exercise, I felt great and thankful.

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Day 9: Some energy toward evening

It started out slowly this morning.  I wake up having mild nausea very similar to yesterday.  We visited a farmers market and bought a few vegetables.  I was not sure how much cooking I will do for a week.  So far, I did not cook at all, but heating up prepared food from time to time.  But it was good that I had motivation to go out.



Those are so cute!  Not only pies are homemade, but the packages are also hand painted.

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I spend reading a book most of my time until 3 PM.  When a friend of mine called me at 3:30, when I was taking a nap.  A get together dinner invitation at a Japanese restaurant made me think of what I wanted to eat for the first time since I had my chemotherapy.  My appetite is getting back on track, a bright news to me.  Just in case, I took an anti-nausea medication before the restaurant.

I could not imagine how much I ate.  I ordered Tempura so that I could take some home in case I did not finish it, but I ate everything.  Somehow I started to taste food better again.  Having a good accompany distracted me from thinking about being nauseous.  The dinner replenished my energy up again.  Once I went home, I started to clean the house that I could not do before.  Oh, I felt good.

[physically]: Constant very mild nausea, a lot of burping.  Not much fatigue.  Appetite is coming back!   Food started to taste as it supposed to be.  Pimples are persistent on my face.  Sore spots in the mouth.  A red rash spot at my throat.  My period seems to be over, finally -12th day of my period.  Itch scalp.

[emotionally]: Fine.  Things look more optimistic.

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Day 8:Thoughts about being constant nauseous

Day 8:  Even better than yesterday.  I was slightly nauseated, milder than yesterday…  the level of nausea is like morning sickness.

I remember having this similar nauseous condition 9 years ago, when I was pregnant of my son.  Yesterday, our son’s piano teacher called me to check on me.  (Thank you!)  Her daughter and daughter in law went through breast cancer recently.  She described me “just like morning sickness, isn’t it?” when I mentioned about my nausea.  That reminded me a nurse with my oncologist had already told me about that, too, on the day of my chemotherapy.  At the hospital, there are 4 specialists stopped by and gave me so many facts and tips.  I totally forgot about that comment.  Yes, now it is like morning sickness.

This made me wonder a difference between a morning sickness of 9 years ago and chemotherapy nausea today.  9 years ago, when I felt my morning sickness, I felt sick, but there was joy underneath.  “Op, this is what it is like!”  I did not like it much, but I knew there was something precious I was growing.  I wanted it to be growing well.  I wanted to get over with it and wanted to meet our baby later.  Today, it is true… I have “Op, this is what it is like…” a very same impression, except tone is different.  I try to look for something to look forward to to go through this.

Once I get over this nausea:

1. “I will get back to my normal life!”

2. “I will taste my favorite food as it supposed to taste!”

3. “I will feel a big relief.”

I thought listing up would help me feel better, and had better attitude today.  Well, I have a mixed feeling about this.  I may succeeded to list up something positive, but at the same time, the things I am looking forward to are what I used to already have.  I don’t have them now.  Then… I look like victimized… and maybe I am a victim of the cancer…  mmm, Bummer.

[physically]: Constant nauseous.  Not much of fatigue, but I took a nap.  Some appetite is coming back!  11th day of my period. Around my nose and mouth, many pimples.  Edges of my mouth started ache, some small cut openings.  My mouth is sore with one white spot started to show up.

[emotionally]: Stable.  Some motivation started to come back to me again, which made me happy.  Started to concerned about my hair loss.  Will I be able to put together something look good on me with my new area of fashion: bald?

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Day 7: A short trip to NYC

A week ago, I had my first chemotherapy.  Today, I felt even better than yesterday.  It was best among the last 5 days. I wake up with a slight feeling of nausea, but very mild.  It was like morning sickness.  (My posture has been pretty good.  When I am nauseated, I noticed I walked in bad posture, but I could not help it.)

After a breakfast, friend’s homemade banana muffin and scrambled eggs, I went back to watch a movie; “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel.”  A story about a woman who used to be an editor in chief of Harper Bazaar, Vogue and head of The Costume Institute of Metropolitan Museum.  That made me think of different head piece solutions I have to think for near future.  I wanted to go to the NYC.  My husband wanted to come with me to make sure I would be OK.  I really appreciated about it, I myself was not confident either.  We made a short trip, 2 hours stay in the city. Oh, I was happy.  I felt nauseous but when I was looking into different hats, I was not thinking about nausea.  A brief moment of nausea-free without medication!  Bravo, fashion.  I had some inspiration, and I will make some, too, when I can.  Soon to be seen here, I hope!  (Or not hope… I am talking about after my hair falls off.)



[physically] My weight hit the lowest record ever I remember since I am at this height.  A mild nausea, consistent but tolerable.  I could eat more today.  No appetite.  Burping.  Not much fatigue.  My face still has pimples for the last 3 days.  My period still goes on.  A nurse called me and told me that it could be irregular during chemotherapy.  She did not sound concerned about it.  Every night, nausea gets worse.

[emotionally] Very steady.  It may be still too early to say, but the first week of the chemotherapy is rough and tough.  If that is the case, 5 more weeks of that to overcome.  I have 6 cycles every 3 weeks, that makes it about 4+ months.  It is not like 5 months of rough and tough time, more like 5 weeks in total.  That way, emotionally it is easier to cope with this.  In the train heading back home, I exercised an “escape” that my physiotherapist had told me how to calm me down.


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Day 6: Killing my time while healing

It was better, again, than yesterday.  I really hope this improvement in the past Day 5 and Day 6 will be my cycle for the rest of my 5 chemotherapy.  In the next cycle, I will be teaching on Day 6.  When there is some “must do” things that I care, I should be able to pull myself together on Day 6, I can tell.  The course is called Fashion Economics.  It is a field of economics, but main theme is about fashion.  I created the course outline, proposed to and approved by collage and NY state.  It is brand new and only run for 2 semesters yet.  This will be my third semester teaching that subject.  This semester, it expanded into 2 courses.  I am excited about it.  I am the only one who can teach that course and no other economists can replace me.  I must do it!

[physically] My body is 1/4 of my regular energy level.  A light fatigue.  Laying down most of the time.  Nausea around lunch time and I took a medicine.  No appetite.  Never feel hungry without eating any snack during a day.  Talking is not too tiring (it used to). I will contact doctor’s office tomorrow to inquire about my continuous spotty period, still going on.  Today was it’s 8th day.

[emotionally] BORED.  I feel like a day after my fever is gone after catching a cold (yes, that is more emotionally).  Slightly positive.   Comments and e-mails from friends made me smile :-)!

I am so bored, but I don’t want to be actively moving around.  I tried to go out for a walk, but it started to rain and I turned around to head home.  I finally cleaned our kitchen casual dining table.  I did not realize but if I don’t do it, things just pile up!   Dishes are served on top of them.  Table glass was sticky, I could not stand it any more and I could move and clean it.  I can see my husband is handful with taking care of me and our son while he does his job.  I will do what I can.

My boredom set a light on my photography again today.  I don’t want to walk around much.  I am afraid of contacting many people as I am more prone to infection today.  Photography requires some time and now it is a perfect time.  I had not done that for awhile.


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Day 5: I feel a little better than yesterday


Day 5: I wake up feeling a little better than yesterday.  I got up to do necessary chores, including eating.  Sadly, no appetite makes eating as a daily chore for now.  For a record, I lost about 4.5lb (2kg) since before the chemotherapy in a week.  A day after my chemotherapy, I was 8lb (4kg) heavier than today.  I don’t understand why.  Possibly, all the liquid that I took and they injected me weighted plus 4.5lb.  Over the course of chemotherapy, patients seem to put more weight on average.  I am guessing my appetite will come back before the next cycle (in about 2 weeks).  Let’s see.  I focus on eating mainly more lean protein, vegetables and fruits, and try not to skip Vitamin D & Calcium liquid supplement.

My husband took me out for a short walk.  Thank you for asking me!  As we got ready to leave home, it started to rain some.  Great… But that did not stop us from walking.  That was a nice walk and refreshing, and it was really short.  But it caused some mild nausea afterwards.  I took Metoclopramide, anti-nausea, medicine, rested in a couch and it went away.  No make-up, my hair is not really set… Oh well, at least I brushed my teeth.  I am afraid of saying it out loud, as a fashion fun, but that was not important today!

I noticed I started to get pimples around my nose and mouth.  I may have skipped some face wash in some mornings.  I know I did it before going to bed.  I will see how it goes.

[phsically]  Less fatigue than in the last 3 days.  Persisting lack of appetite.  I have been sleeping well at night, even if I take naps during day.  Gassy.  So many burping, I mean so many.  I took 1 anti-nausea pill.I still have spotty period, makes me concerned.

[emotionally]  Not bad.  Things are looking slightly more optimistic today.  I am concerned how I will be able to teach in 2 weeks.  I will have to manage the scheduling in advance to prepare material way in advance, when I can.  I just hope tomorrow will come a bit more brighter.

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Day 4: Finding about Steroid Pill Power

Today was better than yesterday.  I wake up fine, some fatigue, but not as bad as yesterday.  No nausea.  Good start.

But, most of my day, I was lying down.  That was the most comfortable position I could take, while texting and browsing websites with my cell or watching movies.

In the afternoon, a nurse from the chemotherapy unit called me to check on me.  We went over how I felt and confirmed this has been perfectly normal reaction.  She assured that the chemotherapy I had was a strong one, and I should take things easy.  Don’t over do anything.  She told me to expect a very similar reaction cycle for the future 5 sessions as well, and plan accordingly.  (My relative-in-law told me the same, too! Thanks.)

One thing I found very interesting from the conversation is the reason I felt relatively fine on the first and the second days of the chemotherapy.  It was a set of steroid pills, Decadron, that I took for over three days, a day before, during and a day after chemotherapy.  The nurse told me that once the Decadron’s effect is gone, then I must feel exhausted.  The whole thing made sense now!

On Day 2, I could go out for the farmer’s market, only because I had that medicine. Wow, that medicine is powerful, then.


[physically]: Not as bad as yesterday.  Fatigue. No appetite. I don’t get hungry.  I eat, only because it is time to do.  Last day of my period.  Before going to bed, I became nauseous.  I took Lorazepam for sleep.

[emotionally]: I became sad about my appetite.  I used to be such a foodie.  There was a time that I thought I was living for food.  Now I eat food for living, period.  It is sad to realize that I don’t have anything in my mind what I want to eat.  Food seems to be out of picture, no joy comes along.  Now it is obligation to have something nutritious to sustain my life.

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Day 3: after my 1st chemotherapy


Honestly, I did not like the way I was today at all.  All I could do was just lying down.  I could not get up.

I wake up feeling nauseous.  My husband brought me an anti-nausea pill.  I was too tired to even ask him for the pill.  I did not want to speak.

By the afternoon, I was tired of lying down in bed.  I spent some time lying down outside, just to change the air.  Then I went back inside to watch a movie.

[physically]  Exhausted.  No energy.  No appetite. Lazy to do anything.  Reconstructed left breast bothers me.  My left underarm does not have any sensation.  I started my period a day before chemotherapy, and it is still going on.  My pee is so clear.

[emotionally]  Realizing my condition, made me cry from time to time.  Feeling miserable.  I don’t know how to enjoy “not doing anything” in general.  Frustrating.  I was disappointed with me.  Life is not easy.  Down, down, down all day.

今日は、最悪な日。けだるさで、本当に動きたくない。朝から 胸焼け。でも、薬を取りにいくことも億劫であれば、ハズバンドにヘルプと言葉にするだけでも億劫である。とにかく 一日 ベッドやソファーに寝る 寝る 寝る。起きると気持ち悪いわけではないんだけれど、重力が地球より大きなところに来て、重力に抗えない感覚。

[体調] 疲れ。エネルギーなし。食欲全くなし。再建途中の左胸が気になる。本当に 綺麗になってくれるんだろうかなぁ。と不安。24時間ワイヤー入りのブラをつけていると さすがに 窮屈。脇の下の感覚がないので、気になって 常に触ってしまう。抗がん剤治療前に 生理が始まって、そろそろ 終わるのかな、当分 生理も来ないだろうな。あるべきものがなくなるのは悲しい。尿が 異様に透明。

[心] もう 今の自分を抜け出したい。悲しくなって 今日は 泣いた。暇はつまらないと思うので、何かしら動いていたこの私。体が動いてくれなくて 否応なく暇をさせられて それが苦痛。自分にがっかり。人生つらいなぁ。と 今日の心理は 最悪。

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Day 2: after my 1st chemotherapy


AMAZING: I am talking to myself…  Day 2 of my 1st chemo, I was at a farmer’s market!

ぷぷぷ。自分でもうそみたい。なんと ファーマーズマーケットに 朝から顔出しちゃった。(写真で見ると 顔が はれぼったい気がするけど。)

I wake up around 9 AM.  My husband got me freshly made corn muffins from near by deli.  As I was eating the corn muffin, I was wondering who is going to get me fresh corns for me from a farmer’s market near by.

I asked my husband to go and get them for me.   Then wonder… maybe I can come.  So we went!

Fresh flowers, fresh bread, fresh veggies, fresh fruits and fresh fresh fresh.  It was so refreshing.

9時おき。近所で ハズバンドが 焼きたてのコーンマフィンを調達。コーンと言えばシーズン真っ只中。甘い甘い コーンが土曜日に開く ファーマーズマーケットで売っているんだけれどなー。 買って来てもらうのをお願いしたけど、調子も良さそうだったから 一緒についていってみることにした。近くだし、いざとなったら すぐに帰宅しよう。


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