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Chemo Round One: Effects

by Tom on August 4th, 2009

It’s been two weeks to the day since my first chemotherapy treatment, which feels like a good time to get all retrospective up in here.

The first two days were a bit of a blur; I took the prescribed Ondansetron to make sure the nausea stayed manageable and some Dilaudid for some pain. Other than that, I don’t exactly remember what happened that day. Opiates: 1, Tom’s Memory: 0.

The day after makes more sense; there wasn’t any Dilaudid involved, but I remember aches and pains. And started to notice that things tasted weird. For the next week I would have the taste of metal in my mouth almost continuously. We picked up some lemon drops on the advice of the chemotherapy nurse; lemon drops cut through the metallic taste in saliva, providing a much-needed flavor break.

I had some pretty long-lasting indigestion, too. People described the few days after chemo as the worst hangover ever; I didn’t have noticeable nausea or headaches, but my body ached and my belly hurt. “Hangover” seems an apt description.

Another significant effect that I’ve noticed: peripheral neuropathy. I’m losing sensation in the tips of my fingers, courtesy of Vincristine. Apparently there is an 80% chance that I’ll recover from it.

Burning my mouth with hot liquids is another thing that I have to give up — I had some coffee and hot tea over the weekend, and my tongue is taking much longer than usual to heal.

In all, I think that the effects of the first round of chemo were not as bad as the warnings forecasted. I bounced back well, feeling a restored appetite by the third or fourth day, I think.

Let’s hope the next round goes as smoothly.

From → Treatment Phase

  1. Julie permalink

    When is the next round?

  2. Tom permalink

    The next round will be exactly one week from now. This is, coincidentally, also our two year wedding anniversary. Party time!

  3. Karen permalink

    I’ll be there for the party :)

  4. Lauren permalink

    Me too, I’m bringin’ cake. Any flavor requests?

  5. Lindsay permalink

    I’m bringing beverages!

  6. Jana permalink

    And lets not forget the oncology fridge, they’ll have generic sodas and water and juice as well. Group Health does Anniversary Party Catering! ;-P

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