… and other TMI oddball quirks that result from chemo.
#1 – During my very first shower after having my hair shaved off, I put my hands up to wet my hair – and SHOCKED myself when it wasn’t there. This put me in a quandary … do I shampoo my bald head or use body wash? Enquiring minds want to know what is appropriate … Don?
And this is what washing my hair on a Friday night has become …
I can’t shave my head with a razor and risk bleeding and infection … so my already-falling-out hair – compliments of chemo – was buzzed off close to my head in Ciao Bella. The remaining stubble was due to fall out last week, but is perhaps hanging on for dear life because my chemo treatment has been delayed.
The remaining stubble is killing me – death by a thousand cuts – as each strand digs in like a needle if touched. The pain is unreal. The wigs are feather light so I can wear them for long periods. thankfully. But I just want to lay my head on a cold pillow and not feel anything.
I am slowly lint rollering each stranded strand out … next I will use duct tape!
And I STILL have to shave my legs … WTF chemo?
#2 – Our neighbour asked if I wanted to walk the dogs with her … any excuse to get out with my dogs and neighbour Sherry! I was almost out the front door to meet her when I said “Oh shit! I need to put my hair on!”
I am sure I will scare puppies and small children some day …
#3 – My eyebrows are thinning. Are you old enough to remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle show? Sherri and I plan on drawing on some Natasha brows once my real brows are gone.
#4 – I have to cover my PICC line with a plastic sleeve because it cannot be submerged or get wet. I get icked out that my arm isn’t washed so I swab it all down with rubbing alcohol after my shower. And I long for a hot soak in the jacuzzi …
And it’s itchy … I have an allergy to bandages and adhesives so I have to scratch the skin every so often.
It creeps me out that this PICC line is direct access to my major vein. So I am vigilant about keeping it germ-free.
#5 – #chemobrain is real … the fog, the forgets, the puzzled look on my face. Heather has some very blonde moments!
#6 – I can’t have manicures or pedicures … again too much risk of infection. So I have to become proficient at keeping my own nails trimmed and painted. My fingernail beds are turning dark and bruised … a sure sign that I am being poisoned.
#7 – I’ve pooped in three colours since starting this Triple Negative Breast Cancer journey.
While in recovery from my lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy, I had to get up to pee. Almost as an afterthought, the nurse said “Oh! You will pee blue!”
Well thank God she told me! It was like a Smurf crime scene. Deep Ty D Bowl blue … you remember that blue puck you could add to your toilet tank? Ya … I peed that blue. For days.
But I was not prepared for blue bowel movements! Blue poo is a shock to the already overloaded system.
Then I pooped bright red after my first chemo with the Red Devil. Not “I’ve eaten beets” red … it was more like I drank a gallon of primary red paint. And crapped out crayons.
And then I pooped green while on IV antibiotics while in the hospital.
My nurse wanted samples. And I delivered.
#8 – I can’t orgasm on some of the meds (the anti-depressants I think?) … and just like a 19-year-old boy I had one of those dreams. I hope I didn’t moan from my hospital bed.
My sex drive has always been healthy. I had my first orgasm when I was six. I was swinging upside down from the monkey bars in the park, legs clenched and !!! I ran home to tell my Mom something wonderful happened. She rolled her eyes and said “Oh Christ. We have to watch this one …”
I don’t do sexual dysfunction. I will be a raving lunatic if I have to.
#9 – The blue radioactive dye stain is still on my right breast. The doctor says it may take months … or years …
I will also have to get tattoos for radiation … small blue marker dots so they can pinpoint the beam through my breast with precision and accuracy each time.
I guess I will be getting a real tattoo after to hide the medical sins.
#10 – My nails are growing like crazy …
#11 – I’m sure something else will come along to shatter my dignity. Stay tuned!
Nothing is sacred,
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© Lisa Jobson 2017