Sunday, January 21, 2018

Chemo Side Effects

Taxol 1/12
Day 4

(Taxol is the chemo I'm currently on.  I've done 1 of the 12 weekly infusions so far, and I'm on day 4, if you count infusion day as day 1.)

I'm finally on the upswing!  Side effects so far haven't been too bad.  I'm told they compound, so with each chemo round it'll get worse, but round 1 has been manageable.  

So far I've had a bad headache, a little bit of nausea (easily controlled with Zofran) and some other tummy issues that I won't go into, bone/joint aches, and weakness.  My port - and adhesive-irritated skin - is still very sore, too, but should heal over the next week or so.  Day 1 the side effects weren't  too bad, though I didn't sleep at all that night because of the steroid.  Day 2 was worse, with the headache bothering me the most.  Day 3, yesterday, I was completely wiped out.  Going from one room to another wore me out, so I spent all day in the recliner.    Today is a lot better, and I've improved throughout the day.  I'm still aching and have a headache, but can move around better than I could before, so I have high hopes for the next few days.  Good timing, too, since Jamie will be back at work tomorrow and I'll be doing the drop-off/pick-up routine with the kids.  

By all accounts, my hair should start coming out sometime between day 10-14, so my awesome stylist, Jason, is ready to shave my head for me a week from today if I need it then.  (Expect to see lots of pictures of the experience.)  If my hair is still hanging on, we can delay the appointment, but I'm assuming things will follow the expected timeline there.  Eyelashes and eyebrows usually hang on a little longer, from what I understand.  They could last a few more weeks or even longer.  We'll see! 

I think I'll handle losing the hair on top of my head better than I will handle losing my lashes and brows.  I think having the hair on my face gone will make me look sick in a way that not even being bald will.  I've always liked my full brows and my long, thick lashes.  Hopefully when they grow back later they'll come back the same.  (Maybe I'll have to look into one of the expensive lash treatments out there to encourage that regrowth when it's time.  Any recommendations?)

Friends and family have been amazing with their support.  We've had so many prayers, donations to the GoFundMe campaign, and supportive messages, and I've received gifts with gift cards, cute hats, and more.  Call me shallow, but having a surprise package arrive at the door when I'm feeling cruddy (physically or emotionally) has cheered me up every time!  So thank you for making this easier than it would be otherwise.  

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