Side effects may include…

In chemo school they gave me a binder with a list of general chemo side effects. For each corresponding number there are several pages of additional side effects. They give me medicine to combat some of these side effects- and those have side effects. I even created some of my own side effects in addition to these. If there was a commercial for chemo I’m sure I would learn of new side effects.

  1. Bone Marrow Suppression
  2. Anemia
  3. Bleeding/Bruising
  4. Infection
  5. Nausea
  6. Hair Loss
  7. Appetite Changes
  8. Constipation
  9. Diarrhea
  10. Dehydration
  11. Mouth and Throat changes
  12. Fatigue
  13. Blood clots
  14. Nervous System Changes/ Neuropathy
  15. Pain
  16. Chemo Brain
  17. Hearing Problems
  18. Flu-like symptoms
  19. Urinary, Kidney, and Bladder Changes
  20. Infertility
  21. Sexual Changes
  22. Fluid Retention
  23. Skin and Nail Changes

The main side effect that I experience from chemo isn’t even listed- hypotension. Super low blood pressure. I bought one of those arm band squeeze machines so I can track it at home and the jury is still out if that is a good or bad idea. It hovers in the 70’s range. I constantly feel light-headed and on the verge of passing out.

The most painful part of chemo is a side effect of the side effect of #8- a tear in my rectum-that’s right- a major pain in my ass- the neighbors can probably hear me screaming. I don’t need to get into great detail, but I did get a thorough probing by a nice colorectal surgeon yesterday. There really isn’t an easy fix either. I take lots of hot baths, and if it’s still bad in a month, there is a potential botox solution that is not advisable during chemo. My friends, please take a moment to be thankful for your ass holes.

While I was getting probed yesterday, my daughter Luna was at the pediatrician getting diagnosed with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. This is a virus that turns cute babies into rashy, feverish, drooling, fussy germ bombs. Adults usually carry the virus without any symptoms, but because of side effects 1, 2 and 4, I am supposed to be quarantined. I lasted a few hours without contact before I was wiping Luna’s nose and butt.

First I’m a mom, and then I am a mom with cancer.

Is this a public space for me to complain? Maybe this week. But this is real, and I’m not always a positive person. Today is my fifth day of being knocked down from round 3. Tomorrow I will be back up and at ’em.




3 thoughts on “Side effects may include…

  1. Bill Curry September 21, 2016 / 10:39 am

    Dear Diana,

    As painful as it is to read your accounts, it is the most accurate, detailed account I have ever seen, though it with several friends.

    Your resilience is stunning. Just stay the course-you are tough, powerful, and good.

    We love you!

    Carolyn and Bill Curry


  2. sheril miller September 21, 2016 / 1:32 pm

    Dear Diana,Is this public when I write to you?Do you care/want any returns.I’m reading this am, and I’m going  to dedicate my BM to you.If fact I am going to always wipe all think healing thoughts for you.You are coming to mind from time to time, a teacher, a healer, and a brave and honest woman.Thanks for the education as long as your willing to share! You can complain all you want!!!!


  3. Dana Sulger September 26, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    I love how you write about all the painful side effects of chemo with humor and optimism. I really enjoy reading your blogs not only because of your insightful remarks but also to keep up to date with everything you are doing and feeling. I feel like I am there with you, next to you, even though it is in spirit. Keep strong SISTER!!! As I tell my kids- you can do it!


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