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.