Sometimes I hope, when I’m writing down all my symptoms, that next time will be easier because I’ll know what to expect. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be the case. This was a hard week for me. Tuesday was probably the worst. Not only did my whole body hurt from my Neulasta shot (just feel that bone marrow growing. Too bad it’s growing in an enclosed space – inside my bones!), but my throat hurt whenever I swallowed. I felt like I was in Bill Cosby’s tonsillitis sketch. The internal monologue would go something like this:
BRAIN: Hello, throat. How’s it going?
THROAT: Oh, I’m just fine, thanks.
BRAIN: OK, then, the mouth seems to need to swallow. Can you do that for us?
THROAT: No thanks, I’m good.
BRAIN: No really. We need a swallow here.
THROAT: Oh, alright. POW!!! FLAMES IN THE THROAT!!! MAJOR PAIN!!! Um, can we not do that again anytime soon.
BRAIN: Sure, no problem. Sorry about that.
It’s really hard to go to sleep when every time you swallow, the pain from your throat wakes you up. Normally with a sore throat, I’d load up on the vitamin C, drink a bunch of honey and lemon tea, and gargle with salt water before bed. Don’t want to mess up the chemo drugs, so the vitamin C is out and my chemo-altered taste buds are telling me that honey and lemon tastes nasty, so we’re down to gargling with salt water. At least it didn’t make me nauseous. By the next morning, nothing hurt near as badly, but I did need a morning nap to make up for all the sleeping I didn’t do the night before.
Friday, the day after another infusion, brought its own set of trials and tribulations. It seems that the Venofer is affecting mostly my mouth, so everything tastes off. This was extremely frustrating to me because I was hungry, but nothing I ate tasted good. Not everything tastes bad, but it all feels wrong in my mouth. Even my lemony water wasn’t cutting it anymore. Gatorade had gone back to tasting like spit, but plain water was nasty and tea was worse. I probably got a little dehydrated because I had to force myself to drink and eat all day. By the end of the day I was biting my tongue to keep from snapping at everyone.
Even now, a few days later, my mouth is still not back to normal. Eating is just not enjoyable, even when I’m hungry and my husband makes tasty meals. The good news is I have one more infusion, and then I’m done. I should be able to maintain my iron levels with diet once the Venofer brings them back up to normal levels. Always have to find the bright side, right?