It is Day 20 since chemo 1 and I have now only 3 days to chemo 2. I know that the side effects are well managed and much less harrowing than they used to be, but I can’t pretend that I am not anxious and nervous about so many aspects of the chemo and the next session.
Everyone experiences it differently and this is how it seems to be affecting me after only one session. In addition to twang arm, I have heebie jeebie skin – sensitivity which makes my skin creep in changes of temperature and where it touches my clothes. My scalp is also surprisingly sensitive – so sensitive it is painful when I lie down and it is hard to put my head on the pillow – it’s not so easy to sleep with your head peeking upwards! My ribs ache and my skin is super dry. The incisions from the second surgery seem to be taking a long time to heal and I still have bruising from where my USB port was put in (it still doesn’t work for downloading music so I hope it works for chemo 😉 ).
But the worst thing is the most well known side effect of chemo – hair loss! The update is that I still have hair and still harbour this illogical dream that I will be one of the few who only experiences thinning. The evidence indicates otherwise. I am reminded of that old song “Hair on my pillow, and on the floor, a trail to the door” or something like that (apologies to Little Anthony and the Imperials). I can’t understand how so much is coming out, but it doesn’t seem to be noticeable yet when you look at me. Still, I had a visit to the hairdresser on Tuesday to crop it as it apparently comes out in patches rather than neatly. The main reason was actually more psychological though. The thought of moving straight from hair to no hair freaks me a bit, so this is a way of moving towards baldness in stages. It was still horrible, sitting in the hairdressers knowing that the next step will in all likelihood be the razor (and apparently that is when the scalp stops hurting as it is caused by swollen follicles).
And when the hair disappears altogether we reach a new phase of reality. Time for another rain dance!