(Really Sour Lemons)

Monday, March 19, 2012

I swallowed a Ferret...

And other tales of Chemotherapy. 

My husband said I didn't cook it enough. I can feel it running around in circles in my stomach. Every once in awhile it delves deeper into my intestines, but mainly it's my stomach. It's the weirdest feeling. Ooh. It kinda feels like an alien baby in there, kicking around. Hmm. 

So the side effect are definitely cumulative. After the first cycle I said to myself "oh this isn't too bad. I can deal with this!" Now I want to cry when I think of having to do this two more times. The Wednesday after Chemo used to be a pretty good day. I'd get my Neulesta shot and then run errands because I knew I'd be out the next few days. I started feeling crappy on Wednesday already. I was couch bound on Thursday, Friday and most of Saturday. Dragging around on Sunday. Dang it, I have to go back to that place on Tuesday again! 

New side effects, besides the Ferret in my stomach... my fingernails hurt! They have weird little white moons and the rest are orange-y colored. (Wait, let me think... no, it's not paint!) They're not horrible looking, but they hurt when the nail is pressed or if I grip a pencil or paintbrush. 

My toes and bottom of my feet are very slightly numb. Sometimes the pads of my fingers too. Every three weeks at my Oncologist's appointment I am asked if I have any numbness and/or tingling in my fingers and feet and I say no. I was really hoping to get away with no neuropathy but I don't think I'll be that lucky. 

The hot flashes/night sweats are making me crazy! I call my nights "Shake and Bake". I'll overheat, shift over to the cool satin pillow to chill my head, then 10 minutes later I'll start shaking with chills. The first three days after chemo this was going on every 45 minutes all night long. Last night I think I slept 2 hours straight between episodes. 

And the fact that it's been in the high 70's to mid 80's in the middle of March, Does. Not. Help. I am constantly overheating, even during the day. I purged my closet of winter today. My hats all went back into the hat bin. (My personal Mad Hatter is crocheting me a cotton beanie!) Even wearing scarves is too hot. Around the house, I go without.  But I still have a problem going out in public with nothing on my head... yes, my brave attempt was at 10:30 at night to let the dog pee. In the dark. With no one around.

I don't know why I can't do it. It's not like I think someone will laugh at me. Who laughs at cancer patients? And if they do, I've got my lines ready. I'm not scared they will stare in repulsion. Or think I'm ugly. I really don't know why I can't do it. Maybe I don't want to be pitied? I don't look at bald women or cancer patients with pity. I see strength through adversity. I really can't figure out what is stopping me from going public. 

I'm guessing I will just get to the point where I'm fed up with being too hot and just "take it all off". Then it will be done with and over and I can get on with my life. 

Speaking of... my head is filled with peach fuzz! From far away it looks bald but up close I have a thin halo of fuzz. It makes me second guess my decision to shave it! No, seriously, it was falling out back then, but now it's growing back in places. Some of the hairs are about 1/4" long already (and WHITE I might add.) Very, very sparse; most of my head feels like sandpaper. But what's up with that? Even after cycle #3 it was growing in instead of the stubble falling out. The good thing is that the stubble/roughness helps hold my thinner scarves on my head. The bad thing is that it looks really... weird. Part of me wants to shave it all off again so it's nice and smooth. The other part of me says "what, are you crazy? It's growing!"

Well, this is long enough. I'm just dreading going to sleep. According to my "side effects cheat sheet" I should start getting more energy (check), My GI system should be royally screwed up by now (check), my appetite should start coming back (still waiting), my mouth should feel like I burnt all my taste buds off (check).

And next time I'll remember to cook the Ferret before swallowing it!


  1. Well Lisa--you certainly haven't lost your sense of humor!! You just rock! I have neuropathy in my feet, so I can certainly identify with that--it's bad enough just on it's own--I hope yours will go away when the treatments are all done. Only two more to go--big hugs!!

  2. Love the ferret. Good image. Isn't it funny how we have these little no-nos that have no good reason. That's what makes us human, I guess.
    Even through it all I hear your inner smiile.
    Keep on keepin' on.

  3. I sweetie, I was just checking in on you, it's Marilou from over at Roses, Hugs and love, and thinking about you:) XOXO

  4. Oh Babe - don't stop fighting, even if it's a ferret fight. Thinking of you continually. Makes my sore leg seem like child's play. Keep on keeping on. Lori de Froup