Sunday, November 23, 2008

Big C Update

Yesterday was my transplantiversary: two months! I think I'm doing fairly well, but I don't have the specifics from last week's blood tests to confirm it. However, I'm sure I would have heard if something was seriously out of whack.

I'm still surprised at the scope of side effects from the superdose of Chemo (Melphalan) that is the first step of the transplant: fever, chills, body aches, back pain, easy bruising/bleeding, nausea, hair loss, breathing problems, confusion, weakness. Thankfully, I've only experienced a few of these. And I had a wonky body thermostat even before the Chemo. So my 60-second "power surges" are far preferable to the night sweats I had last spring, when I thought there was a very real danger of going up in flames.

But I'm experiencing some bone pain and muscle cramps that are strong enough to wake me up several times a night. And I'm having severe numbness/tingling in my arms and hands. It often feels like my hand "fell asleep" from lack of circulation, but it's the hurty kind, and it takes a long time to go away – sometimes more than a day. I'm taking magnesium 2x/day, which is supposed to relieve some of that.

The confusion/fatigue continues. I don't really see much improvement there, but I am discovering some troubling -- and some amusing -- aspects. I seem to have hidden my only piece of “real” jewelry, prior to my hospital stay. I hid it so brilliantly that I have absolutely no idea where it might be. Not a clue. I threw away my favorite eyeliner. Now, I remember doing this. The confusion is, why in the @!# did I do that?? I accidentally gave my almost-brand-new electric blanket to charity. And there are a hundred little episodes of setting something down, or sticking it in a drawer, and suddenly it is lost forever. Chris printed a stack of Rx charts for me last Friday. They have vaporized, and I'm too embarrassed to ask for another stack. Eyeglasses, fuzzy socks, spare car keys - poof! I must have gremlins, or a whole colony of Borrowers... or Chemo Brain.

I am definitely experiencing the frustration I was warned about. It seems as if I should be much further along, at least energy-wise. And now that the truly cold winter weather has arrived, I can do very little walking outside. I will have to become one of those mall walkers or something. Yeesh.

Follicle follies: Arm hair and leg hair are all gone. Eyelashes, eyebrows and ...other hair... more than half gone. On top, there is peach fuzz, there is definitely peach fuzz. However, the shedding also continues. I guess I will just reach a stage where it is coming in faster than it is falling out. Meanwhile, at least my head no longer resembles a baby's butt. Unless you have a really scary baby.

1 comment:

John E. Smith said...

LOL about the baby!

I also have numb hands, specifically my thumbs. I hope this is a side effect that improves. I'm about a month further out from my transplant than you. That month made a huge difference in terms of energy and clearer thinking.

You've nowhere to go but up. :)