Chemo ReCap: Week 12/12

The Taxol party is over and naturally I’m left with a chemo hangover.  While I’ve heard all along that many side effects are cumulative, it seems now that the last infusion was the tipping point to some new discomforts.  Fortunately, those were mostly short-lived.

Weight:  Right around 120 lbs, as over the past several weeks.

General condition:  96% of normal.

Blood Tests: No more Taxol, no more blood tests!

Hair Loss:  The hair’s here to stay.  I was supposed to stick to biweekly hair washing, but I’ve already reverted to daily washes and it’s heavenly.  Hot water is verboten for a while longer, however, and I continue to be gentle when shampooing and brushing.

Body Aches:  Around Sunday my knees started to hurt and then Monday my legs, too.  It was similar to an early stage of the flu, but didn’t spread to the remainder of my body.  By Wednesday the joint and muscle aches had disappeared.

Peripheral Neuropathy:  None.

Nausea and Vomiting:  As I alluded to in my last post, water started tasting a little odd at the last treatment.  The day after treatment (Thurs.), many of my typical go-to foods (oatmeal, bananas, almonds, raisins, lentil soup) seemed a bit funky.  Water was definitely off, and I had to find palatable substitutes:  warm water, tea, and diluted lemonade.  By Friday I was leery of most of the foods I’d consumed the previous day and was feeling a little queasy just at the thought of eating.  I stocked up on cinnamon gum and ginger ale to help ward off full-blown nausea.  On Saturday my taste buds slowly headed back toward normalcy, but they’re still out of whack.

Intestinal Upset:  None.

Mouth & Nose:  The mouth sores have proliferated, but are kept in check with a baking soda rinse.  For the first time, they have extended down into my throat, which makes swallowing a little painful.  Unfortunately, the baking soda rinse doesn’t work in my throat and I’m not going to swallow it, so I’ll just have to put up with the discomfort.

Nails & Skin:  My facial skin is improving by the day, now that I’m no longer blasting it weekly with subarctic temperatures (from the Cold Caps).  I’m still experiencing minor acne outbreaks, and my face still looks much drier than normal, but I think the worst is over.

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