Warning: Totally Honest Cancer Post Ahead.
During this latest go-around with cancer, I’ve encountered quite a few people with some misguided notions as to what it’s like to go through chemo. To them, feeling bad the day of the chemo infusion is understandable, but the day after? Well, recovery should be almost complete.
One does not simply recover from chemo in a day. Especially if you’re in your 40’s.
On my current Taxotere/Cytoxan regimen, I have experienced the following symptoms:
- Dry throat, cough
- Feeling that all mucous membranes are burning
- Nausea, constipation
- No appetite
- Intense muscle pain
- Sinus congestion, headaches
- Fatigue, muscle weakness
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes, other menopausal symptoms
- Forgetfulness, confusion (aka, “chemo brain”)
Although there is some relief as the days go by during the week of the chemo treatment, it takes about a week to feel like myself and regain my strength. Even then, the effects seem to be cumulative, and so each treatment leaves me weaker than the one previously.
Considering all of this, if you contact me during the week of chemo, you may get a totally unfiltered version of just how I’m feeling at the moment.
Being treated for cancer is simply a painful thing, both physically and emotionally. And recovery from all of this will be long as well.