This post may prove to have too much information and may be too much for the squeamish to bear.
So far, side effects from chemotherapy have been: instant bleeding hemorrhoids, constipation from hell, acid reflux, dizziness, loss of coordination (dropping things, bumping into things, tripping), mild nausea/unease, early menopause, oral thrush, fatigue, and here’s the worst-depression.
So the oncologist and his PA tell me to treat for all the possible side effects before they happen. I don’t know what to do about the dizziness and loss of coordination but to wait. They go away after 3 days or so.
For the hemorrhoids, I use moistened butt wipes and Rescue Me cream. I haven’t had them since day 4 after my first chemo treatment.
For constipation, I eat high fiber food (always), and on days 1-3 after a treatment (after supper and before bed) I drink 8 ounces of pear juice, eat 5 organic, sulfur free prunes, and I have a cup of Smooth Move tea. (Looking at this list makes me slightly queasy, and I am looking forward to putting these items away for good after my last treatment!)
My brother suggested Aloe Vera juice for the acid reflux. I started drinking 2 ounces, morning and evening a week before this latest treatment (so far so good). After the last treatment (#2) I carried around a bottle of tums and chewed them 2 at a time. They didn’t work so well.
For the nausea and unease, I have acupuncture and massage therapy. And I am starting Bikram Yoga again.
Early menopause? Ironically, I had my period during my mastectomy, during my first chemo treatment, and one week after my second chemo treatment. I get hot and cold, which I think comes more from having no hair to help regulate body temperature than from the change. Also, I have insomnia, but that might be from the steroids given during treatment and from the oral steroids I take after. I;m not going to do anything for this menopause right now.
For the oral thrush, I just use every single home remedy I found from a Google search. Brush teeth and effected areas with baking soda, salt water rinse and gargle (1 tsp salt in 8 oz. water), rinse mouth with hydrogen peroxide, rinse and gargle with vinegar and water (1 tsp vinegar in 8 oz. warm water), and melt coconut oil into the effected areas. Last time my tongue was as whit as milk, this time my tongue is still pink. Yes, I do all 5 treatments everyday on days 1-4 after treatment.
For fatigue I allow myself to sleep. This too only lasts 3 or 4 days.
But the depression…this threw me for a loop after treatment 2. That’s why I haven’t posted in over 3 weeks. What have I been doing? Asking for prayer, positive thoughts, white light, love, angels’ protection AFTER treatment, not just the day of. Asking friends and relatives to visit, without worrying about my messy, dilapidated house. Meditation, even if it’s just during my bath (2 cups epsom salts, 8 drops of tea tree oil, and an old sock with 1 cup of oatmeal, inside, knotted at the end). Exercise; the weight circuit at the YMCA, outdoor walks in the woods, and starting tomorrow, Yoga. Also, I continue to see my awesome therapist, John, weekly.So far, depression has been the worst symptom.
Dear friends, would you continue to pray, send out positive thoughts, send me light and love, and ask for angels’ protection for me, and all the others who are going through this?