Week 3 Post Taxol

I’m starting to feel like these posts should have a melody. Y’know, like the 12 days of Christmas, cuz I know it’s going to be a long while before I get to that single partridge in a pear tree.

Some of the changes are so subtle it’s hard to notice them, and like everything else, some days are better than others. This week I’m also working through post-surgery issues, so sometimes the post-chemo things and the post-op things cross into each other.

The neuropathy is still hanging around. I thought it was gone in my fingertips, but certain things will make me notice it more than others. My feet are still tingly or feel swollen even though they’re not. They’re not burning when I walk more than a few feet anymore. That’s really helpful because I need to be getting some exercise. Something I didn’t mention before is that my teeth hurt. All 32 of them. They’re very slowly getting better. The worst part, though, is when you get that fingernails on chalkboard feeling but instead of going up your spine, it rattles through your teeth. So much fun!

My hair’s growing very slowly.  I keep joking that I look like Anderson Cooper. Yeah, it’s a stretch. I just want someone to laugh. My eyebrows are taking their damned sweet time. I’ve got like one out of the 5 hairs there that isn’t just gray. What the hell? My eyelashes are starting to come back. They’re just little stubs, but better than none at all.

I still have a metallic taste/feel in my mouth. It’s not as bad as before. Many foods still taste like yuck, but the list of things that do taste okay is getting longer. Sweets are still not on this list. There are a few sweet things that taste okay, but not many. I’m still liking this. The more I get away from sugar, the better my health will be overall. Same with caffeine.

The one thing this week that’s worse again is the reflux. It’s up again because of the ibuprofen I’m taking post-surgery, but OMG, I’m sick of choking on my stomach every night. I’m taking Nexium and Pepcid at bedtime. In the middle of the night when it starts, I eat about 4-6 Tums. It’s crazy. It’s been bad enough that I’ve had to get up and use my inhalers to make the wheezing stop. Sounding like a dog’s chew toy would be funnier if it didn’t keep me awake at night.

A good thing is that my skin is still doing better. I’m starting to notice that I need less lotion on my hands day by day. The rest of my body is also starting to absorb less lotion. Another thing on my hands – I had my ring cut off last week because the reaction of my skin from the chemo with any kind of hand cream or lotion was completely unbearable. If you have rings that are tight or irritated, and they’re on the side where you’ll have lymph nodes removed, have it taken off at least a week before surgery to help prevent complications like lymphedema. I’ll eventually get my ring repaired and re-sized. While I’m sad I can’t wear it, I’d rather keep my finger and not have issues with lymphedema right out of the gate. Not that I ever want lymphedema. I know you get it.

From left to right:

  1. Ring on – you can see the skin’s irritated and my finger’s quite swollen. I was having trouble getting the swelling down even while using ice on it.
  2. Within an hour of having the ring removed. It was digging into my finger and the irritation is much more noticeable.
  3. 1 week after having the ring removed. There are still marks from it being on my finger so long. The skin’s not as irritated and seems to have stopped peeling.
Ring on finger Removed Ring Ring Finger - 1 Week Later

About Pink Ribbon Road

This blog is about receiving and living with a breast cancer diagnosis.
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