Side Effects, Round Two

It’s all a matter of degree.

My side effects from the second round of chemotherapy are the exact same side effects as Round One — constant stomach cramps, bloating, and fatigue — only slightly less so. Less so, as in: still cramping and bloating so much that eating and drinking are almost impossible, but not in as much pain. Less so, as in: still sleeping 13-16 hours a day, but not as crashingly tired when I’m awake. Less so, as in: still feeling crappy, but not as crappy.

I’m not sure if it’s the constant ingestion of OTC meds or my body making peace with its poisons, but less so is good.

More annoying than dangerous, my weakened immune system has excavated allergies I never knew I had. Despite a daily Loratadine (Claritin) pill, my nose runs, my eyes water and eyelids swell up more than not. When my teariness approaches the drip level of a badly leaking faucet, I take Benadryl as well later in the day, but that doesn’t seem to help, either.

I’m 23% through my heavy chemo regimen, and Ms. Math Geek is counting down.

Author: MeredithLaskow

Artist, writer, and unrepentant nerd girl.

14 thoughts on “Side Effects, Round Two”

  1. Arghhhh. What words could suffice! Chemo sounds absolutely barbaric. I pray for the Star Trek days when a simple whoosh from Bones’ medical Hypospray will eradicate all need for chemo. I remember we had to go out and buy the Kleenix with lotion for my brother. I remember well the leaking. It makes me weep that you have to go through this…

    1. I’m glad you are writing all these thoughts and feelings out, Meredith. Writing is powerful. I am glad we are friends, Math geek. Your friend, Marty, the comic book geek.

      1. Marty, writing has always been cathartic for me. Words come out more freely on paper (or on computer, these days) than they could in speech. In person, I always speak my mind, but in writing I speak my heart.

  2. I wish you to return gently to equilibrium, nurtured by a well spring of love and support. May your soul be washed and soothed by the quiet energies of stillness. Embrace the vastness of your inner landscape and find understanding and even compassion, as your steady and positive companion that accompanies you through the cycles of disease and healing.

    1. Angelika, funny you should mention stillness — because it’s like normal time has been suspended, and I’m in the middle of another dimension entirely. Still. Quiet. Inner, which barely touches the outside world.

      I was thinking about these ideas yesterday. It may be a future post if I can coalesce my thoughts a little more.

  3. Praying for this to soon be over and you can get back to the life you love. Spreading sunshine and making beautiful jewelry. Love you dear friend.

  4. I am struck by the sentence about speaking your mind, but writing from your heart…especially true for you, I believe, dear friend. I wish you could take something for your immune system (echinacea, elderberry, or theh like) to combat what must be extremely annoying allergy symptoms. And yes, where is the hypospray when you need it?
    You are a strong woman with the right perspective on this insidious disease…do not ever stop fighting. Love you so.

    1. Kathy, I take extra vitamin C during the first two weeks. I probably should get echinacea, too, although I’m taking so many pills right now, I need a scorecard.

      Of everyone commenting on this blog, you’ve probably known me the longest and also read the most of my writing. I appreciate our continued friendship ♥

  5. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    I am thinking of you and longing, with you, for your half way mark ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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