I have been keeping careful track (and by that I mean nightly scrawlings on a post-it note by my bed) of my post-chemo symptoms this time and so I present to you THE SIDE EFFECT LIST! Surely not as historically significant as, say, Schindler’s List, but certainly more current.
Day 1 is always a Wednesday, so if you are ever wondering how I am feeling on a day within a week after a chemo, this should be a handy guide.
Day 1 (Admin Day) – headache, tiredness, night sweats – a breeze!
Day 2 – tiredness, night sweats – overall I feel pretty good, normal. It’s the calm before the storm.
Day 3 – night sweats, fatigue, dizziness, nausea – start to feel vaguely unwell.
Day 4 – night sweats, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, weakness, fuzzy tongue, constipation, depression – one of my worst days, physically and emotionally. Don’t feel like myself at all.
Day 5 – fatigue, dizziness, nausea, weakness, fuzzy tongue, constipation, bitter taste – another physically low day. By this day I start to get bored and grumpy.
Day 6 – tiredness, dizziness, weakness, fuzzy tongue, constipation, depression, bitter taste, indigestion – probably my worst day. And it’s a Monday. No longer fatigued enough to nap or sleep well, but feeling to crummy to go out, I just feel lonely, angry, bored, and stir crazy.
Day 7 – tiredness, nausea, weakness, fuzzy tongue, bitter taste, indigestion, cramping, bone pain – finally feel more or less well enough to go out in public but it’s a stretch.
Day 8 – tiredness, weakness, fuzzy tongue, bitter taste, indigestion, diarrhea, cramping, fuzzy mouth – definitely on the upswing at this point but the continuing stomach issues really put a cramp (pun intended) in enjoying life.
Today is Day 8, so I will have to update this in a few more days, but if it’s like last cycle, the symptoms will continue to fade over the next couple days until I feel 100% just in time to get shot full of chemicals again! I am grateful that I don’t have a lot of the side effects others seem to – my nose hair is hanging tight, for instance, and I have two TINY cankers in my mouth, but my mouth isn’t filled with sores or anything. Still, chemo makes for some pretty crummy weeks.