I've lost 20 kilo (that's 44 pounds), thanks to the Xeloda. (read more here)
I look and feel better than I have in years.
I told my oncologist, I want to stay on this chemo until I lose at least another 15-20 kilo!
It's a great drug; it "kills cancer and my appetite -- two for the price of one!"
I almost feel like I cheated. I did not exercise, I did not diet. The chemo removed my appetite, so I just did not eat. It was not difficult. If I ate even a tiny bit too much, I got nauseous.
The chemo seems to have heightened my sense of smell, so that even the smell of food completely turns my stomach.
In fact, everything turns my stomach.
It is not difficult to refrain from food when the very thought of eating makes you sick.
I did not suffer from lack of food, but my stomach... that's another story.
Loss of appetite, an upset stomach, hypersensitivity to smell, these are just the tip of the iceberg....
I am tired... all the time
My hands are dry; the skin by my thumb keeps cracking. It hurts.
My feet are dry; sometimes a layer of skin just peels off my toes. Davka (ironically), this does not hurt, but it is kind of freaky.
I am thirsty... all the time.
I have diarrhea, almost every day. (Apparently from the Tykerb, and not the Xeloda)
I have constipation, almost every day.
My stomach hurts, almost all the time.
I am frequently nauseous, even when I am hungry.
I have neuropathy.
I have no more strength in my hands or fingers -- I cannot open jars, bottles, or even plastic bags.
I have difficulty closing buttons and clasps.
I drop things.
I forget things. (yeah, I forgot things before, but it's worse)
I am cold all the time (my oncologist says that's not connected to the chemo, but I'm not convinced)
Oh yeah, and I still have almost no hair.
As if that's not enough, I have another list of effects that are caused by the actual cancer:
My back hurts.
My ribs hurt.
It hurts if I stand too long.
It hurts if I sit on a chair that is not cushioned.
I am hypersensitive to touch.
It hurts when someone pokes me.
It hurts when my kids rest their heads on my shoulders.
It hurts when someone accidentally knocks into me.
I am in pain all the time.
I laugh about how pain is not such a big deal: "that is why God created pain killers."
But pain is a big deal... especially when you know that it won't go away.
I will spend the rest of my life "managing" my pain.
This is my life.
But it is not easy.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
ps. Just so we're clear, if you read this and then look at me with droopy eyes, I will ban you from reading my blog! (Empathy is fine, sympathy I can deal with, but pity is just not on the menu!)
more observations from the USA (Chicago day 4-5)
9 hours ago