Saturday, October 6, 2012

SIDE EFFECTS - at 28 weeks

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:
  • Fatigue
    Yeah, this ain't goin' away any time soon.  It's important that I get rest when I have it, and take rest when I can get it. In other words, I must stay intentional here.  Resting doesn't come naturally.
  • Shortness of breath
    I haven't exercised since the last time I mentioned it (like forever ago). So I don't experience this as frequently know. I'm either used to it or have adapted and learned to SLOW DOWN.  I don't walk as fast as I used to, and I don't rush up or down the stairs.  This helps.
  • Appetite Well, I'm not as hungry as I used to be.  Is it because of the treatment or because I don't expend the calories exercising?  Hmmm... 
  • Emotional irritability/sensitivity
    More apparent before menstrual cycle.  I'm weaker and more fatigued before and during this time too.  Communicating this to family helps.  And being aware when I'm engaged with others helps too.
  • Low Grade Fever and headaches
    Sometimes, but not often. I still keep Theaflu and ibuprofen in my medicine cabinet.  I usually get them when I haven't gotten enough rest or have had a stressful day or week.
  • Hair thinning
    Answer this for me: why is my hair growing just fine in places where it is certainly not supposed to grow, yet falling out on top of my head?  It's funny how the strands that are holding on (which are many) are getting longer.  Yet I am still losing hair on my head. I can part my hair with my finger and see a wide part in my scalp, without the help of a comb holding my hair down. This is not normal for me.  But hey, no one can tell, which is pretty cool. 
  • Muscle weakness AND soreness
    Mostly apparent when on Neupogen, Procrit, or have done some repeated physical activity (like lifting or bowling)
  • Neupogen AND Procrit
    Yep, still take these on the regular.  I take Neupogen most weeks and Procit occassionally.  I prepare to take it easy 24-48 hours after these dosings (as best I can...).
  • Female issues continue.
    Why would I think this would be any different?  I am, after all, female.  And I haven't, after all, gone through menopause. So duh...
  • Forgetting: AKA "chemo brain"
    My brain processor is slow, like when your Internet has a slow connection.  When the Internet is slow, the data is all there, it just takes a while for the page to load.  That's me.  So, if I am speaking to you and there is a pause, just give me another second or two for the information to load in my brain, and I'll continue where I left off. That's how it's been, and how it continues to be. I've accepted this now and laugh about it all the time.  I take my time when I speak and don't get as flustered when I lose track. Thanks for your patience.

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