Toxic Avenger


Now that I am almost done the chemo portion of my treatment…or at least my first chemo. I thought it might be fun to let you in on the details of my symptoms for the last 3 months. So here is a list in no particular order of all the things that I experienced from chemo medication. I starred the ones that improved/were fixed with acupuncture.

Hair loss- head to toe hair loss. I have not used a razor in months. And certain things women pay big money to wax off.

Weird ones- my legs feel like I am walking in mud. Sometimes I feel like I am made of jello. Sensitivity to alcohol. Half a drink made my face turn red and made me feel out of it. I am on these chemo drugs so I think my liver is like,” you are f*ing kidding right?”  And the fingers on my left hand are numb.Totally and completely numb. Which I do not really like.

Chemo brain- I have a noticeable and  severe temporary loss of cognitive function following chemo. I leave feeling like I was at the bar all day. The buzz – the high. None of the silliness though. It takes a week for me to feel confident in conversations. I also forget what things are called. I also can’t seem to filter out noise when I am trying to have a conversation.

Chemo coma- this is the big sleep. So on the first day or two following treatment I am tired, but can’t sleep. Which is weird because I can’t think either. Then all I do Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and most of Monday is lay in bed. I usually sleep all day and night. I have to crawl into acupuncture on Friday. And then it is sleepy time until Monday. Then acupuncture again Wednesday and its smooth sailing for 2 weeks until treatment.

Stomach and digestive ailments- this included severe nausea* diarrhea***cramps*

Weight gain?- Yeah. Well I gained 30+ pounds in three months from being on steroids. What a bummer. I thought I was gonna get skinny. No such luck. I had to cross it off my top ten reasons what its good that I got cancer. I am eating really well though. I eat fish and veggies every day. And no sugar after like 3 pm. I am trying to keep to that and I feel really good.

Migraines and tension headaches- these were initially pretty debilitating. I have not had any since third treatment.***

Eyes- extreme sensitivity to light. Excessive eye twitching***. Ed put a lot of needles in my eye lids to fix the twitching. He said I looked like Hellraiser.

Emotions- These were caused by steroids(anger). Lupron(despondency,crying,suicidal thoughts,depression).****  Ed and Doreen put needles in my ears. And talked to me. And my friends and family also help in keeping me in touch with reality. My emotions are not “reality”

Blood counts- typically quick reproducing cells are compromised by chemotherapy because the poison does not know the difference between good cells and cancer cells. So chemo patients tend to gradually get worse over the course of treatment. I have gotten better. My blood work has come back and looks like I am not on chemo at all! I have a slightly low red blood cell count. But I had that before treatment.********** I told you that Ed has been doing blood building stuff for me as well.

So I do credit the treatment from Doreen and Ed at Won Institute for my health.  The treatments have offset most of the difficult symptoms I have/had. It is really amazing to me the difference it has made with this experience.

I also realize that so so many people are praying to every known god and deity. I bless my chemo. And overall I have a bit spit and fire in me. So maybe its all those things together. Ultimately, I just want to let you all know what its been like for me but also say I am doing very well. I love your visits and all your emails, calls, meals, kisses, well wishes, blog comments, etc. I am super fortunate and blessed by you. Thank you for planning fund raisers. Taking me to the hospital for treatment and tests. Taking me to acupuncture. Hanging with my kids. And just listening to me talk about this journey. Here is my story. You all play a role. But the only bad guy is cancer and F him. I love you all. Andrea

One Response to “Toxic Avenger”

  1. Ed says:

    Thanks again for the shout out. You are an amazing person, and I feel priveleged to be your acupuncturist. Dorren and I will continue to do anything we can to make life easier. Much love, Ed