As if the list of side effects wasn’t enough, I have a few more to share.
Fuzzy Tongue – yes, it is as disgusting as it sounds. Apparently, my antibiotic used to keep me from getting pneumonia and my chemo drug didn’t mix well. My tongue was coated in this fuzzy, thrush-like substance. It made everything I tried to eat or drink taste nasty. It’s a good thing I’ve learned how to force feed myself. It is finally getting better, but the majority of things still taste awful.
Intestinal Issues – I’ve gone from hardly ever having any problems with my gut to colitis. The cells apparently grow at the rate this kind of chemo sees as cancer, so it’s killing them at a high rate of speed leaving me with pain and discomfort to pay.
Severe Headache – I had hoped this was just because of allergies, but it started shortly after I started Abraxane and has yet to go away. It’s a daily sinus-like headache that never goes away regardless of what I try. It’s better at times, and at other times it’s so bad I’d like to cry. Crying only makes headaches worse though.
Anger – This kind of chemo seems to bring out the angry monster in me. I try to suppress this and keep it inside myself as much as I can, but it sneaks its ugly head out from time to time. Many times I’d just like to snap and blow up, but I’ve managed to keep the volcano from blowing its top.
I received my first bill for Abraxane. If you’ve ever wondered how much one single chemo treatment costs without insurance, I can tell you it is just over $6,500. If cancer runs in your family, buy a cancer insurance plan and keep paying the premiums. I’m still kicking myself over this! If you have insurance, be grateful. I’ll agree that the expense is ridiculous until you rack up $25,000 a month in medical bills. How thankful I am for medical insurance! It may take me 20 years to get out of debt from what I have to pay, but at least it’s possible.
The plus side is I’ve had a few great, normal-like days this past week after chemo. I’ve been able to do things I haven’t been able to do since November. Mind you, it’s extremely frustrating when the energy is completely gone the next day, and I’m left feeling useless again. But I’m trying to praise God for the few days of “normal”.
Please keep me in your prayers as I get ready to enter into the next round of chemo on Thursday. I’m feeling strong and healthy. I’d really like to stay that way throughout the rest of the school year. Thanks in advance.