So here is the ugly truth of what happens for me on chemo. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own struggles. Here are mine.
My nails are chipping. I used to have long and strong nails. Never had the need for fake nails here. But now I am considering them because of how brittle my nails are. They flake they break at the littlest thing.
Heartburn. I am on two meds to deal with heartburn. At one point the heartburn was so bad I threw up from it. I have lucked out that it is the only circumstance where I have thrown up from chemo (I am very lucky on that from)
I don’t recognize myself in a mirror any more. Honestly I am horrified when I look in a mirror. I feel like I look so much older.
I used to have nice long wavy hair that people crave. I had Farrah Faucet’s hair. But now all of that is gone. With colon cancer chemo, you don’t lose it all but I lost enough that it looks terrible. And the hair I have is brittle and fried looking. It has lost all curl or shape to it. I have tried so many things to make my hair look better. Wigs are itchy, cut it short and I hate it now. Wearing caps (this has been the most successful), extensions. I hate my hair. I HATE looking in the mirror
My facial skin color is now different and it is blotchier then it was before. Makeup is required for me to look human. I have to draw on my eyebrows every day and eye liner because those hairs are gone too.
Energy. It comes and goes on the most random of times. For the past three weeks I had been feeling great. I was bouncing everywhere annoying everyone with my joy. Today I am dosing myself with caffeine so I can work. I needed it to keep going. I am hoping my fatigue isn’t coming back because I will throw a fit. My body has grown because of 2-3 months of rough anemia having me sleeping 12+ hours every day and it never being enough.
Concentration is harder than it has ever been. I get distracted – Squirrel- at any given time. It makes working even harder. I can’t remember things. I Have lists everywhere to hold me accountable. But there are days my brain just doesn’t want to work so I have to fight for every accomplishment.
Then there is the morale situation. The odds are not good for me to survive this, yes I am still fighting but I have to be real that I am fighting for every day. There is not getting better right now. My mass hurt me time to time because it is putting pressure on areas if I exercise and that hurts. There is the struggle about worrying about the future. There are things I have to do to prepare for if something happens (will, advanced directive, letter to kiddo, etc).
Cancer touches everywhere in your life. It doesn’t leave one thing untouched.