health & medical

All that remains

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First, they came for my appetite, and I said nothing.

Well, I said some things, some complaining type things. And I may have had some help acquiring some items that are legal in only certain states, in order to address this thing that the chemo took away. (Thanks again to you-know-who-you-are!)

Then, they came for my hair, and I said nothing because I knew that this was going to happen, so I shaved my head Britney-style. I complained some more, because my hair, ya’ll!

Now, they have taken away my eyelashes and eyebrows. (Yes, I skipped the part where my body hair fell off, because not shaving is clearly a bonus and this blog is not titled “The Upside of Trying to Chase Out Every Last Damn Cancer Cell.”) I was prideful about my eyelashes and eyebrows, which both of my children were lucky to inherit. It was nice to know that in a wig I could maybe fake people out because I still had them. They are nearly gone now. Sigh.

What I have gained is a thing called neuropathy in my feet and hands. Just a little bit of it. A sort of dull feeling in my hands. As for the feet, well, you know how it feels if you step on something and it sticks to the bottom of your feet? Like, a piece of paper or scotch tape? I feel like I have something stuck to the balls of my feet, off and on, all day. That one big Taxol dose added this to my chemo repertoire after only a couple of days, and I’m doing all the extras to combat it that all the people recommend. Trust me, I am reading the stuff and listening to you folks.

I also gained this super fun thing called menopause, which so far is manifesting as a short temper and heat waves that mostly hit at night, like Tom Cruise is dangling from the ceiling holding a space heater. Then I wake up and he gets sucked back into the ceiling and suddenly I feel normal again. I never liked him. Even before he jumped on Oprah’s furniture.

New lower dose Taxol started today. It is one third the strength of the last one, but they gave me the same amount of steroids that they gave me last time. That means tomorrow I will probably feel like I can do all the laundry in the world (that is not an invitation.) We wait for Thursday morning. That’s when the crash came last time, when I sent the kids off to school and then sat down and realized that I felt as though I’d just been hit by a car. I have high hopes for this coming Thursday. Let’s get through this, my body, without so much strife.

Then I can just focus on waiting for all of my beloved hairs to grow back. Good thing we bought me the medicine cabinet with the built in magnifying mirror!

Van only writes when things get crazy, she is inconsistent at best. Don't get hooked. She is otherwise busy being a mom, wife, professional tidying maven (yes, that's a thing for which people will pay money), and working at killing the cancer.

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2 Responses to “All that remains”

  1. God bless you and keep you, Van. Having emerged from my own ‘Texas Cancer Smackdown,’ I know more-than-a-little of what you are writing about … your description of neuropathy (which I am also experiencing) is spot-on.

    I am looking forward to your continued, “inconsistent at best” posting over a long and cancer-free future!

  2. Thanks, Jeff! I hope your smackdown is coming to a close and that it is followed by a long, healthy life!

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