WARNING: Casual readers of this blog may find some details uncomfortable. I've included them to help fellow patients or those researching the idea of undergoing treatment. I apologize for any discomfort this may cause.
In no particular order:
In no particular order:
This is the norm now. I've learned to do less and be happy with the little things, like fixing breakfast for the family or going to the grocery store. Those are big feats now and I am appreciative when I can accomplish them! I move much slower these days and don't pressure myself about it. It is what it is.
- Shortness of breath I often have to stop and catch my breath, especially if I'm walking and talking at the same time (which doesn't happen much these days). I sit as soon as I stop moving, lean on walls if I'm standing, or prop my legs up if lounging for a time. This is especially true if I'm talking.
- NauseaPretty non-existent nowadays. I suppose I'm getting used to it all.
- Lack of appetiteI can eat ok but can be picky. That's not like me.
- Rash and pruritus (itching) - NEW CHANGE
No apparent rashes. HOWEVER, my skin feels like porcupine needles are constantly sticking me. Ugh! So itchy-burning annoying! Once you start scratching, it itches everywhere! This was especially the case last night - made it hard to sleep. Only 3 more weeks left of Incivek so hopefully these symptoms will then disappear all together. Until then, I will continue to use non-comedogenic, fragrance-free shower gel and lotion.
- That other minor skin irritation
You know, the one I said is located under the behind... Even less of an issue than before. I use medicated wipes and occasionally Preparation H for relief.
- Emotional irritability/sensitivity
I'm much more in control of this now. Thank God! When I sense it coming on it's essential I find a quiet place to sleep more. I also communicate this to my spouse and, simply, do less.
- Sensitivity to acute loud sounds and bright light
This fluctuates but is very present. I wear sunglasses indoors where the light is bright on a regular basis. Car alarms are very irritating. So are loud squeals. As a mom, I'd learned to tune them out over the years, but I'm not able to manage that nowadays.
- Low Grade Fever and headaches
It's NOT an every day thing. Yeah! But I'm better at sensing when it's bout to come on. When I take Ibuprofen and/or Theraflu it helps so much! Taking Theraflu at night has helped me sleep better too.
- Hair thinning
This has slowed down a bit, perhaps because I'm not treating my hair while on treatment. It still falls out but my new growth gives it body (since it's afro-ish...).
- Muscle weakness AND soreness (NEW)
I feel my muscles getting tired just from walking up the stairs sometimes. My muscles have also felt sore, as if I had been working out or something. (Yet I'm not working out at all these days. It's bummer.)
- Neupogen AND Procrit (NEW)
Both are injections to help my bone marrow produce more white and red blood cells, respectively. They typically wear me out! My body runs really hot while on these drugs, I feel more fatigue and weak.
- Female issues
Early/Late, inconsistent/extended cycle with cramps and body aches. I usually have regular and predictable ones.
- NEW: Forgetting
This is a funny one. My mind does not work like it used to. It's has a slower processor and limited memory. In conversation, I forget what I was talking about after the slightest interruption. Sometimes I forget even while not interrupted. It's difficult forming sentences because my vocabulary seems to be limited too. Sometimes I can't find the right word to say. I'm usually a LOT sharper than this, so this is new for me. I find it quite comical though. If you ask me to remember to remind you to do something, you better make sure I enter it in my phone WITH an alarm, or I will likely forget. Oh well. So far, I hadn't inadvertantly shop-lifted or burned anything down, so...