As I've mentioned before, where we lived in China is incredibly dusty and down right dirty. There's lots of noise as well and during summertime heat, it's required to have windows open. Sleep difficulties are common, even without chemotherapy.
Where we live in Sunnyvale is so amazingly peaceful! Our back yard (thus, our bedroom), isn't that far from a major street . . . yet, we seldom hear it. We can hear the ducks from the little lake across the road and we can hear crows as they sass the ducks. It's such a change of pace from our life in China.
I haven't dusted once since being here and I can't tell! In China, I could dust in the morning and be able to write in the dust at the end of the day. It was a source of never-ending despair for me, so eventually, I just gave up. We had someone come in to help out once a week and I just settled for that.
The sun has shone every day so far here in California. The sky is so incredibly blue that it almost hurts the eyes. We can have a morning marine layer from the Pacific Ocean, but it typically burns off by noon. The contrast with the green trees and green grass everywhere is so different from the brown hills of our beloved China home.
We can have wide temperature ranges, needing sweaters/sweatshirts in the mornings and evenings and swelter in mid-afternoon heat in between.
In other words, everything in the US seems spacious, new and clean. It's so vastly different from that which we became accustomed. Even the cancer center I am now going to is so very different from what I went to in Hong Kong. The old "dare to be different" campaign doesn't seem to be needed for me because it's all different!
Because of this, I think, subconsciously, I expected my cancer to be different. In fact, I think I even went as far as to have the "Well, I'm in the US now, so I shouldn't have cancer now!" thoughts. How strange is that?! I don't think I believed this, but I do think that I either expected or wanted things to be different on the cancer front. Different is good, right? Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.
This last round of chemo went okay, but true to the course, I had difficulties sleeping and had to deal with bone pain. The pain hasn't been too bad and was easily managed, but the sleep issues are always hard for me. I did get a sleep aid this time around and I used it successfully once and not so successfully another time.
It's now been nine days since chemo and I'm feeling more "normal." I'm back to sleeping longer stretch of times and that makes a big difference in my attitude. (By the way, a cranky mommy makes for a cranky family.) My stomach is still a bit out of whack, but this, too, shall pass.
My last chemo is on Tuesday, August 2! Only one more round of going through the side effects and then it will be a constant improvement from there. I'll post another time about the schedule for everything else