April 10, 2013

Chemo: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

First, let me say that chemo saved my life. It has also changed my life, and the adjustment is harder than I thought it would be.

My "chemo brain" seems to be very slowly but at least improving. My husband tells me my memory is getting better, but I hate that I can't even tell one way or another. I can no longer trust my already less-than-stellar memory and I must rely on notes and alerts. Heaven help us all if I lose my iPhone.

I have mild neuropathy in my feet that apparently is not going to go away. The numbness is not a big deal, but I'm trying different strategies to minimize the burning feeling. Apparently this is what happens to people with advanced diabetes too. My sympathies to them.

I was adjusting to my new reality until today. I was just told I have "significant" osteoporosis. An acquaintance of mine, who went through the same therapy at the same time I did, broke her foot by pushing up to get in bed. That sent me to the imaging clinic to get a bone scan, and I'm in the same boat. This means medication, changing my diet and  starting weight-bearing exercise, and I've been told "Don't fall!" Okay then.

A few months ago I joked with my friends that my body is 80 years old. Turns out I was right. I'm sure this will eventually become a part of everyday life and just be a kind of background noise. But thanks for letting me vent.

6 comments:

Java said...

Oh dear, I'm so sorry. Best wishes for effective treatment.

Anonymous said...

Birdie,
Just think how delicate a bird's frame is, and how they still manage to fly thousands of miles between hemispheres.
Just curious - How much of your resilience would you say is innate and how much comes from your faith?

I've been struggling while coming to terms with a
"from here-on out" change in my body, and not coming to any acceptance.

Mike (75 is the new 50)

heartinhand said...

I had a friend in high school that got cancer when she was 12 and lost her leg. She said she'd never go through chemo again. She went on to have a productive life, had three kids, a great life on a farm. I wonder if she still feels that way? I'm thinking that feeling might go away. Maybe it doesn't though.

If it killed the cancer, is it worth it? Brittle bones and burning feet aside, it's good to be alive right?

:)

Birdie said...

Friends, thank you.

Mike, I'd attribute "stubbornness" as my primary resource for resiliency. Although it doesn't sound like it here, my faith gives me peace that centers me. Sometimes the details overshadow that for a minute.

Rox, you are absolutely right. It IS good to be alive, and I am doing better than so many before me. I guess I need a little cheese with this whine. :)

Birdie said...

After I watched my mom go through chemo I saw just how awful it is. She was so sick and at times she didn't think it was worth it. The awful cure gave us 6 more years with her and for that I am so grateful.

Ur-spo said...

I am always glad to read your posts and happy to hear your vents.