Well that was just as much fun as the first time around.
The biggest difference this time was the addition of a few sweltering hot days up in our 3rd floor apartment when the nausea was worst. I couldn’t tell if I was sweating because of the heat or because of the ‘trying not to retch’. Either way it was extremely unpleasant again for about 5 full days but today was almost entirely nausea free. Since I am feeling much more like my regular self it is prime time for another blog post this time touching on the glamorous chemo side effects.
Other than the post-treatment nausea, fatigue and day 1 vomiting, the various other chemo side effects are in full force these days. Some are super obvious and well known i.e. Hair loss (update – my once semi-endearing fuzzy head now resembles more of a George Costanza look with very little up top and desperate whiskers hanging on for dear life on the sides. Spoiler alert, it’s not cute). Other side effects are lesser known but equally prevalent and include:
- Insomnia. It’s currently 3:02am and I have used up all the tricks I know so I am hoping blogging will put me to sleep. If it’s a crappy post and it puts you to sleep let me know and I’ll add reading this post to my list of things to do to fall asleep.
- A weird taste in your mouth. Some people describe it as a metallic taste but what I’ve got going on is more accurately described as “the sole of Ghandi’s sandal”. All the time.
- Food tastes weird. Maybe not weird exactly but Everything, no matter what I eat, tastes muted or bland. It’s the worst in the 10 days after chemo but nothing has tasted incredible in a while. As a food lover this is super disappointing.
- Acid reflux. It’s like satans lava in my asophogus.
- Chemo brain. For the first few days after chemo I feel fuzzy and discombobulated. Tonight I put the ice cream container in the fridge and I bet 3 days ago I wouldn’t have been able to Think of the word “discombobulated”.
- Neuropathy. Without going into the medical stuff that I don’t understand it’s basically Tingling in your hands and feet. This one I think gets progressively worse over the course of treatments so Last round I had it in a couple fingers for a day or 2 and this time it’s feeling like my arms are on their way to falling asleep but not quite. I don’t know if that makes sense.
Amidst the above there are some side effect silver linings…I am getting a chance to wear all those hats I bought but didn’t wear much before. Taking a shower for the first time with no hair tickled so much that I actually laughed. My morning “get ready” time has gone from 10 min to less than 5. We will be saving on shampoo, conditioner and razors. Companies like Zantac, Gravol and Premium Plus Crackers should be thriving thanks to my patronage. And now that the fog is lifted there should be 2 full weeks of feeling good ahead.
The biggest silver lining that I can think of today is that those 2 rounds are done. Yes there’s still 2 more of this drug to go plus a whole 12 weeks of the next drug BUT I’ll never have to do these last two again.