Saturday, March 17, 2018

Side effects I know and love

October 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Patricia's Journey

I am irritable, bitchy and cranky. I vaguely remember this part from the first time during chemotherapy. Anger lies just beneath the surface and rears its ugly head at a moment’s notice…or should I say no notice.  This is the only side effect from chemotherapy I am experiencing. It’s a nasty one, though, escalating in the first 48 hours.  It is similar to feeling a volcano erupting inside you that starts as a wave of emotion that rises up through your legs, abdomen, chest and spews out your mouth all over whomever has the unfortunate coincidence to be standing in front of you.  That person is my son.  After I calmed down, we talked about how to manage it in the future.  I am told the chemo takes away my mental ability to deal with the anger.  We came up with a signal from me to him when I feel the emotion stirring, so it doesn’t have to culminate in an eruption.  It worked!

Out of curiosity, I googled chemotherapy side effects for the benefit of this blog. Of the 197 side effects listed (beginning with abdominal discomfort and ending in xerostomia), nowhere on the list was irritable, bitchy and cranky. The only thing close was depression, which isn’t even close. Reading about depression further stirred the pot:

Signs of depression: 5 or more of the following symptoms that persist for 1 week or more: (I chose my top 5)

1) change in your mood- yes, there has been a change…don’t ask and I won’t have to hurt you.

2) profound fatigue and loss of energy- my body is full on wrapping around squillions of cancer cells. Yeah, that could wear one out.

3) decreased libido- libido…where did I put that anyway?

4) difficulty fulfilling usual roles- a usual role would be welcome. it’s the superwoman role that’s tough to fill during chemo.

5) difficulty concentrating and making decisions- this one? or that one? is there another choice? what about the other one?

Alexander is no fool. He just called to ask if he could go to Mack’s house after school. Smart kid. I’d steer clear of me right now, too, if I could!

By the way, xerostomia is dry mouth. And I don’t have it. A foul mouth today, but not dry!

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