Since August I’ve been given numerous fliers and web sites to study the side effects of the three chemo meds that are in my protocol. I’ve been meaning to sit down and spend a day studying all of it, yet I haven’t made the time. What a dreary day that would be. I’ve scanned the information, but not memorized it so as to make each one come to life through fear.
During appointments, I talk to my doctors about the most likely side effects and how to manage them. I email or call my doctors when I have a question. I call the strong formidable women who’ve walked this road and ask pointed questions. These women know first-hand what to expect and they are usually right on.
Over the last few months, these same women have shared a more important list of “side effects” they’ve experienced through cancer and/or chemo. From their knowledge and my experience, I’ve made my own list:
To rip off my wig in front of two women smoking on Main Street and scream, “Are you crazy? Don’t invite it in!” (No I didn’t, but the urge was nearly unstoppable.)
To speak my opinion
To vigorously write
To protect my port from hot shower water, afraid the metal might overheat under my skin. (Probably an unrealistic fear.)
To not wait for the perfect time
To make my head comfortable – hat on, hat off, wig on, wig off – throughout the day and night
To get on my knees and play
I don’t recall any of these side effects listed in the information dispersed from the medical community. Yet, for me, they are real.