Chemo Round 4

I’ve been calling chemo a roller coaster, but that is not accurate.

Roller coasters are all fun the whole time. Ups, downs, twists = all fun.

Chemo is zero fun the whole time. Zero.

And after my last round, I really thought I couldn’t make it through anymore. I fell into such a dark pit of depression that I thought chemotherapy might kill me.

I just pulled through Round 4, though. The last of the Dose Dense treatments…or as they call it at the infusion center: The Red Devil. If my treatment was a World Tour (because concerts are infinitely more fun and better than stupid cancer treatment), I would be able to say the first leg of the tour is over.

My sister-in-law, MacKenzie drove me to treatment this time since Cortney needed to take Eddie to a critter camp at the Outdoor Discovery Center. I was so glad to spend time with her. I was afraid taking me would be hard on her, or bring up really sad feelings from when she brought her dad. But she told me that she has fond memories of spending that time with him, so it felt good to have her there. Plus we are both so busy all the time, we don’t get to hang out as much as we would like, so it was quality time laughing and just being together.

I told anyone who would listen that it was my last dose dense. I actually cheered when my nurse pushed the last of the stupid red drug into my IV. I knew the worst was still coming, but it was in and done.

Thursday after the boys left for their sleep over fun, I crashed. I could feel the fog coming over my brain and I knew if I feel asleep, that would be it. And it was. That evening I said to Cortney, “I’m going to start my 36-hour sleep now.” And that is what I did.

I don’t know how to describe how awful needing to sleep can be. The need to sleep is so powerful, food doesn’t sound good, drinking doesn’t sound good, nothing is more needed than sleep. That means as I sleep, I also grow super weak and yuck-o feeling. I got out of bed at 10am on Friday, moved to the couch, and slept there straight until 8pm when I took a shower, put on clean jammies, and went to bed for the night.

I didn’t check my phone.

I didn’t turn on the TV.

I ate one bite of food, and a few sips of water to take my meds.

That was it.

Saturday I was tired, but was sick of sleeping, but couldn’t stop napping. Saturday is the day I have to start fighting my urge to not eat or drink. Saturday is usually a battle, and it makes me weepy and feel like there is no end to the awful.

Sunday I woke up hungry. Sunday I tried to eat regularly and drink water. Sunday was the first time I woke up from a big nap and felt refreshed.

Sunday was when I could see the other side. It always comes, but I get lost in the pit each time.

I’m told the next leg of this tour will not be so hard on my body and mind. August 8 I start weekly treatments, and I pray so hard that it’s easier.

School starts in three weeks, and my doctoral class starts in four weeks. I need my “pep” (as Eddie and my mom call it) and my brain.

We have LOTS of fun planned for August: cottage weekend by the lake, Pearl Jam concert, pool party with friends–not to mention all the Back to School stuff I need to get started on.

Prayer requests: Low anxiety, and an easier time on the new chemo drug.

4/16 done (Leg one of three complete)

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Thinking of you Katie and good for you for being a fighter. Hang in there.

  2. Nancy Rebhan says

    Prayers are with you constantly for less anxiety and more energy for the start of school AND your phD program… I admire how hard you are working ❤