I told a couple of people today, sometimes I feel like I’m milking this cancer thing.
I try to remind myself that the chemo itself is supposed to last for three weeks while all of the little chemo bits swirl around my body and do their job, ninja-ing all of the stray cancer cells that might be lurking in my body, and it’s not just the day I get the treatment or the first few days where I’m exhausted, but the whole three weeks. So even though I have like 9 days left of the chemo, I’m back at work full time, hopefully this time for good!
But I get the feeling that people think that I’m lying on the bathroom floor while I wait to vomit again, so I thought it would be better for me to talk about my side effects that I do have, as I haven’t catalogued them lately.
I have not been interested in food, but I start to hurt worse when I don’t get enough protein, so I try to stay ahead of it and eat anyway.
I have not thrown up one single time, but I have had what I refer to as “intestinal distress,” I’ll let you figure that out.
My eyes spend several days tweaking out, and then water uncontrollably at random times.
I still have my eyebrows, eyelashes and some hair, but all three are very thin, the thinnest being the hair on my head.
Honestly, I could likely make a longer list of problems I have NOT had than the ones that I have.
The worst thing I’ve got going at the moment is the weird skin reaction that I’ve had each time, so if I was the type of person to get sleeved, I could have some lovely like vines or something that would show where I had each of my chemo treatments.
Here you can see treatment 1 by my elbow, the current owie from #4 above it, and then the leftovers of #2 past my elbow. (#3 was on the other side of my arm)
My finger is just kind of there in the picture, I am not pointing at anything. I took the pic for my doctor, but he assures me that it’s really okay.
Anyhow, I realize sharing the lovely picture of what the kid calls my “icky arm” when he asks me not to use it to do things like open the door… which is hard since I call it my RIGHT arm, and I am right handed, ANYHOW, sharing that may not make it seem like I’m doing fine, but really, honestly, I’m fine.
And for those of you who have asked me if I watch “Parenthood,” nope, I don’t, but I did watch a bunch of it on demand this week. And I think that some of the emotional stuff is what I’m going through, and the feelings of loss of control, but a lot of the rest is different.
I had more than one lump, so couldn’t have a lumpectomy. There was no cancer in my lymph nodes, my chemo is because of how aggressive my main tumor was, but at this point, we think we’ve cut it all out. The woman on the show will likely need radiation. I do not.
As I mentioned, I have not thrown up. I have not smoked pot to do so.
My point with this is that each and every cancer treatment is different. Every tumor is different, and the way that everyone’s body handles whatever treatment is appropriate for that tumor differently.
If you’re reading this to find out exactly what it’s like for someone else, I can’t tell you that. And it’s never going to be exactly like Samantha on Sex and the City or anything else you see on TV.
That’s especially true when it comes to side effects.