Thursday, 11 October 2012

Side effects

One week and 84 tablets later, I am starting to see a clearer picture of the side effects of this chemo. That is to say as clear as mud. I can't pin down at all what might happen, when or in response to what. This does not sit well with my control freak nature but I guess I'd better sit back and get on with:

1) Peripheral neuropathy. Pins and needles, mostly in my fingers and the arm the drip was in. The first day or so of extreme cold sensitivity has given way to cumulative sensitivity in that I can't be in the cold for too long. It is October. This may be tricky.

2) Jaw pain. Again more severe day one to three (where drip day is day one); on eating the first mouthful causes pain in the soft tissue of my jaw hinge. Hospital's initial advice, from the on call doctor via duty matron out of hours, was that this had nothing to do with the chemo. That somehow seemed unlikely given it wasn't happening the day before chemo. Duty matron later called and confirmed it was a known one and to keep an eye on it. This may be tricky.

3) Facial tics. These seem to be a response to cold too, triggering my eyes ticcing shut for 30 seconds or so on one occasion (fortunately when I was walking on the pavement). Also in response to the faces you pull when you're doing essential things like plucking eyebrows or putting on mascara - that left me with a cat's bum pout that at least made me realise that Botox is probably never going to be a good idea.

4) Muscle weakness. I can hold a pen, and type, but with much less accuracy. My handwriting is rotten at the best of times but this really isn't going to help. I may be forced to requalify as a doctor.

5) Nausea. Pretty much a given and most of the drugs I have are to combat this. In the interests of science I conducted an hour long investigation into whether or not watching The Great British Bake Off is good for nausea. I shan't be looking at creme patisserie again. Eating small plain things, like crackers, can help, but apart from putting me off sweet stuff my appetite seems unaffected.

6) Tiredness. At random times and very suddenly. So I sit down and have a rest. At least I have that option available.

7) Dry/tacky mouth with a bad taste to it.

8) Needing to pee in the middle of the night.

Wonder what else will come up?

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