Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Chemo pix

 I keep having friends who are going through cancer.  It's distressingly frequent.  I have 4 friends on social media right now who are going through treatment for breast cancer.  

One thing that I notice is that some people are horribly afraid of chemo before they start it.  Some of them refuse chemo out of fear -- a treatment that might considerably prolong their lives. 

I am often a bit reluctant to share about having had chemo.  I'm afraid that acting gigs might discriminate against me if they knew.

I'm realizing that I should share though.  I was in chemo twice and I had a positive experience both times.  It's not so bad. 

The first time I had the carbo-platin/taxol combination.  The taxol is what makes you lose your hair.  The carbo-platin is what makes you nauseated.

What people don't realize is that there have been huge advances in anti-nausea drugs. I never threw up once during chemo.  I had a few instances of breakthrough nausea but I just took some extra ginger or Xofran and I was fine.  

I was often fatigued a few days after chemo.  Not right after, because they gave me steroids, but 3 and 4 days after.  But most of the time I felt fine.

People should be aware that taxol does cause long term nerve damage.  Fortunately, it's just some small numb areas in 2 toes on each foot, for me.  

The second time I had chemo I had the carbo-platin/doxil combination.  To my surprise, neither of these drugs caused hair loss or nerve damage.  

Doxil is associated with heart damage, but I seemed to tolerate it alright, at least at the time.  I have a slight tachycardia now, but I have reason to believe that that may have been there all along and worsened by my current medication, Zejula.  It's well managed by Atenolol.

Again, I had fatigue a few days after chemo, but then I was fine -- and I only had to have these drugs every 4 weeks the second time.

I took selfies when I was bald during the first chemo.  I had a lot of fun with being bald, and trying hats and scarves.  I wasn't a big fan of wigs.  I have a large head and my wig never fit very well.  It was nice and warm though.

Anyway, I made up a google photo album of chemo selfies, to show you that I was having a good time with the look.  I haven't been willing to throw away those scarves, because they're so beautiful, even though I don't wear them any more.  

Here's the link to my google photo album


One of those pictures is with Don McLean after a concert by him.  I even got hit on after that concert, because someone liked my headgear with the pearl fringes so much.  I didn't take him up on it, but it was flattering.

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