Life AFTER cancer has been a kick in the pants.
I’m 7 months from my last round of chemo, and here are some of the side effects I still suffer from.
- Fatigue – this is awful. So far, I’ve been lucky to have two “normal” days in a row. By day 3, waking up and getting out of bed is a challenge. I never really understood fatigue until cancer taught me what it really means. It’s exhausting!
- Mouth sores – a reminder that poison still runs through my system.
- Intensified sense of smell – a heightened sense of smell is not a gift.
- No more shellfish – I used to love shrimp. No more. Chemo ruined it.
- Hot flashes – I mostly still suffer from these at night. My poor family never thought I’d be the one turning the thermostat down to 60° in the winter and running two fans at night.
- Fearsome Fear – to fear something as if you’re about to be killed is such a weird feeling. It can be brought on by a sound, or catching something out of the corner of my eye, or in the middle of the night as I sleep, or driving down the road. It’s extreme. It’s weird. I don’t like it!
- Tone of Voice – I don’t notice it. My family does. It makes me sad. 😦
- Weight – I’ve always been a thin person. I never had to fight the weight issue. Now, I’m in a war to get the extra pounds off. I don’t do fat well. It’s uncomfortable. It’s painful. It’s not my way of life. It must go!
- Cycle of Issues – I think most people who suffer from some sort of long term illness will understand. Illness weakens the immune system. Your immune system is supposed to protect you from all the bad things your body is exposed to but now it can’t so you get something else that weakens your immune system even more and the cycle continues.
- Pills – I had been down to 5 pills a day. I think I take over 3 times that right now as I fight another infection. (See cycle of illness above)
- More Surgery – Feb. 9th they will put me to sleep yet again and cut on me some more and remove more things that shout “GIRL”!
Cancer isn’t just about the days the mutated genes are on the loose trying to kill you. It’s so much more. It’s a disease that changes your life and your family’s lives for a very long time. It changes your way of life and your value system. But the one thing it hasn’t changed is my faith in God. I sometimes tell Him I’m not sure when this all ends, but I trust He’s got it all under control. He created me. I don’t believe any life is without purpose, so I hold onto the belief that God has a plan for my life, and it is good!