Not to gross you all out, but for those who are curious about what chemo can do to your system, below are some of the symptoms that I am suffering from:
1. An intermittent cough accompanied by phlegm
2. Fungal infection of nails, both hands and feet
3. Tingling, numbness and pain on finger tips and ends of toes. At times, the pain was so sever it was difficult to walk.
4. Infections including yeast, mouth stores and eye infection and running a low grade temperature
5. Stomach problems including diarrhea, constipation, passing out while trying to move my bowels (resulting in waking up on the floor with my head on the bathtub and a black and blue eye), indigestion, stomach aches, burping from both ends
6. Eye tearing, sometimes very severe and nose dripping. I frequently wake up with my eyes glued shut.
7. Losing all my hair (I was lucky that I kept my eyebrows and eyelashes
8. All types of pains including in the hip joint that was replaced causing me to limp
9. Metallic taste in mouth causing food to taste like metal or cardboard
10. Feeling weak, dizzy and rubbery-legged. After the first chemo, I had three good days and then five days in bed. By the fourth chemo, I had three good days followed by two weeks in bed. Two more chemo treatments to go and I expect that I will be too weak to get out of bed for most of the time. Some days just getting up and taking a shower is all I can manage.
The pluses: (If you have minuses there must be pluses, right ? :))
1. Lots of offers for help from expected and unexpected places, especially people praying for me.
2. A charitable organization gives me a free house cleaning once a month for three months. They sent three ladies to do whatever I wanted in the house for two hours on each visit.
3. I don’t have to cut my hair or shave my legs
4. I have read more books in the past few months than I did the entire last year, and I love to read and I especially love to read without feeling guilty.
5. My husband, who generally lives in Israel, pledged to stay with me throughout the treatments. Last year I visited him twice for a total of 15 weeks and he visited me twice for a total of 13 weeks. This year we will be together for approximately 50 weeks.
6. Said husband does the laundry and grocery shopping as well as supplying me with a cup of lemon grass tea every day (Israeli doctors tout this as cancer curing) and planted a vegetable and herb garden in the back yard.
7. Friends bring me home cooked food and books to read
8. Before chemo, I always drove to NJ to visit my children and grandchildren, but this month my son came with two of his children to Cincinnati and we had a wonderful visit. Next, I am expecting my daughter to visit with her son.
9. I have never felt closer or more loved by my Maker.
10. I feel closer to, and appreciate more, my wonderful friends.