Monday, August 1, 2011

Chemo = Lots of Fun!

Today was the "Chemo Education."  It was one-on-one with a nurse and she went over all the ins and outs of chemo.  I feel like I already know a lot from what I've read but she did go over ways to manage some of the side effects so that was really helpful.  I now have a list of some things to buy beforehand just in case I need them.

Like Sudafed for the runny nose and watery eyes
Tea Tree Oil to fortify my nails so they don't fall out.
Immodium AD for the diarrhea
Tylenol for the extreme body pain and aches in my bones
Prescriptions for anti-nausea medications - 4 of them
Soft foods since anything hard or pointy may cut my mouth
Salt to make salt water for mouth rinses 3 times a day for mouth sores
Silk pillow case to sleep on since your head is so sensitive after your hair falls out

Oh yes, it's going to be loads of fun the next few months!

Chemo kills off ALL of your cells.  It doesn't know which ones are good and which ones are bad.  It just gets them all.  Leaving your body devastated.  But alive.  Someday, cancer treatment will be refined enough to where people can have chemo and it will only kill off the bad cells in your body, but it's not there yet and this is what we are left with.

We didn't even go over the effects that chemo can have on your body over time.  Damages to organs that I'm kind of fond of like liver, lungs, bones.  It is just understood.  You do this to save your life - not necessarily your body.

The nurse also cautioned me against getting into any car accidents.  Your blood doesn't clot the way a "normal" person's does so having a car accident, even minor, could kill you.  Well, darn!  I was very upset to hear this news because I don't know how I'm supposed to have any fun now!

Once on chemo, I can expect things to heal much more slowly as well.  I'm at a high chance for infection, especially just having had a double mastectomy.  Because I have two large wounds instead of one.  Once chemo is started, my healing will pretty much stall.  Scary thought.

As if that wasn't enough fun, the chemo will also throw me into a temporary menopause with all the mood swings and hot flashes.  My husband was thrilled.  I'm already lots of fun to live with, I'm sure.  Let's just throw full blown menopause on top of it!  Party time!

I'm amazed at what we humans will do to live.  Me included!  I'll step right up to be filled up with poison to make sure that I live longer!

And, despite the side effects, I'll line up for it gladly.


  1. I've been out of the loop for a few weeks so just catching up...I'm confident your indomitable spirit and wit will carry you through anything Laura! You'll be like the CHEMO CRUSADER! :) And having just gone through fake menopause myself, I can tell you this: always carry a fan. XOXOXOX

  2. Laura, a couple of tips I thought of that weren't on your list.

    1) Buy a large container of tucks ahead of time to soothe your tushie should you get diarrhea (my family doesn't like anything that ends in "rhea"). Just trust me on this one.

    2) Buy some Carnation instant breakfast and ice cream to put in it. Tastes good when you don't feel like eating, is a lot cheaper than Ensure, and you'll get vitamins and calories.

    Love you,

  3. fake menopause..?? Umm, i started menopause 2 years ago.. ugh... i hate it. and i'm younger than you.. lol