June 15, 2018
What a week!
My sister and her friend flew in on Tuesday, I had 2 sessions of radiation planning, a dental cleaning appointment and an Occupational Therapy (OT) appointment. In between, there were errands to run, shopping to do and plenty of entertaining of my guests.
During the Radiation Planning I learned that I needed to do a better job of moving and stretching my arm before I start radiation. I can’t do a lot, but I can start doing a little more so that I don’t lose range of motion or end up with lymphedema or other late complications.
My incisions are finally all closed up – I had a couple of spots where new skin needed to grow that are now all closed. I’ve got nearly all the feeling back in my left armpit, but the feeling in my left breast is still lagging a bit. I can tell that it’s working on coming back. It’s just not there. My right armpit’s still pretty numb and I have the occasional shooting pain down into my forearm when I reach a certain way. That pain’s slowly going away. I can still feel the pull in my chest when I reach fully in any direction. That’s been getting slowly better, too.
The neuropathy in my hands and feet comes and goes. It never fully goes away, but some days sure feel a lot better than others. Standing or walking for longer periods still makes my feet hurt quite a bit. Massages help some when I can get them. My teeth are still sensitive to extreme hot and cold and certain foods, which is another form of neuropathy.
My hair’s maybe 3/4″ long now. My eyebrows and eyelashes are both coming back in pretty well. I think I’ll still be wearing a hat to keep my head warm for a bit longer. It helps make sure I don’t get sunburned, too. I’m getting those little pimples around my eyes an on my eyelids, and my nail beds are turning colors again. I’ll mention this to the oncologist next time I’m there. Neither of those are noted side effects of the maintenance chemo.
The metallic taste and mouth feel are still there. I think I’m stuck with this until I’m done with Herceptin in February. Popcorn tastes like I’m eating bits of aluminum foil. Chips make my teeth hurt and are so salty they’re no longer tolerable. Similarly, sweet things are sooo sweet that I just can’t handle more than a taste, if I can manage that. There are just some things I can’t/won’t eat, and some of them I will hopefully not miss after I’m done with all of this. On the flip side, there are some ice creams and cakes that aren’t horribly affected so I’ll still have those later.
Lastly, the chemo brain is still there. There are some things that are coming back to me sooner than they were before, but I’m still forgetting things while I’m in the middle of doing them. Like the neuropathy, some days feel like I’m making progress and some days I can’t remember anything and am mentally exhausted all day. This is hard.