Day five started out foggy and cold, which was rather difficult when it came to my painful hands and wrists. I went slow and did the best that I could to grip the handlebars carefully. There was an unofficial rest stop at a cookie shop and they were giving out free coffee – I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful to hold a hot cup of coffee in my hands. The fog did eventually burn off, though, and the day warmed up to hot.
Somehow, as the day wore on, I began to feel worse and worse. At first, I couldn’t quite figure out why – there was only minimal climbing and 55 miles didn’t even feel like that much riding to me anymore. Why was I struggling so much? Then I realized why: I had taken my dose of methotrexate the night before, just like I do every week. Though sometimes the methotrexate doesn’t bother me, other times it leaves me feeling exhausted and nauseous the following afternoon. So I struggled through the last few miles of the day as the chemo hangover hit.
It was a relatively short and easy day and so we got to camp early – actually in time to join happy hour and to socialize with the other riders, which was rare. Unfortunately, I was feeling way to gross and exhausted by that point. I had to go straight to our tent (which our friends had kindly set up for us) and lay down. I stayed in the tent resting while APL went with our friends for margaritas, which did make me feel a little sad. But I knew that the rest would be the best thing to give me the chance to ride again tomorrow. And I did feel a bit better by dinnertime.
To be continued…