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.
- Bone Marrow Suppression
- Hair Loss
- Appetite Changes
- Mouth and Throat changes
- Blood clots
- Nervous System Changes/ Neuropathy
- Chemo Brain
- Hearing Problems
- Flu-like symptoms
- Urinary, Kidney, and Bladder Changes
- Sexual Changes
- Fluid Retention
- 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.