I know I have been handling chemo really well. In fact my blood tests are so good that the doc says it the results are almost as though they are from a patient not on chemo. For me chemo has not been as advertised and I have been feeling good. I really am eternally grateful for that and have been taking everything that happens with the most positive attitude I can muster. With that said, I have to say that this latest side effect totally sucks.
If you, or someone you love has had a horrible reaction to chemo, you might want to stop reading. This is a complaint that to me is big, but to most cancer patients will be petty. Fair warning.
The side effect that is happening is Thermo Instability. And it sucks.
The “thermo instability” means that I randomly get really cold and hide under jackets and blankets. When it is a normally very comfortable temperature. I look like an idiot walking into the grocery store with a coat on while others are in short sleeves. Half way through the grocery store, I am stripping off all the clothing that is socially acceptable and wandering through the frozen section to find solace with the ice cream doors open and leaning inside, pretending to inspect the flavors. My bald head, covered with a hat that I pretend makes me look “normal” is collecting the sweat and while I really want to take it off, I can’t stand the thought of the “public” seeing my naked head.
I thought I was getting sick – thinking it was fever. The doc warned against getting sick because a normal flu, while it sucks for most people, could land me in the hospital because they are already attacking my immune system. When I saw her this week, she informed me that it was the menopausal symptoms caused by the Chemo. This, coming from the same lady (highly trained medical professional) who tells me how young I am, now is telling me about menopause. Now I feel really old. So – I go into problem solving mode. I have these symptoms, which suck, how do I fix it? Take away all that is good. Ok, not all that is good, but a whole lot of it. I am to avoid… spicy food (that means the yummy Mexican that I love so much and eat a lot of), caffeine (I love me a good latte and drink enough tea to drown a toddler), and booze (OK, not been drinking a lot lately – but a nice cider or glass of wine is appreciated from time to time).
For the positive outlook – I have five more Chemo treatments and all signs point to not having to delay any of them. This will be in time for Christmas (all I want for Christmas is a cure for cancer – is that too much to ask?) The treatments are not leaving me sick and pitiful. In fact, I feel relatively normal. For the start to 2016, I will be able to grow hair. This bald thing isn’t working for me. 2016 will be a far better year than 2015.