An encyclopaedia of side effects

Yesterday I got a bit worked up about a chain message in Facebook allegedly in aid of breast cancer awareness. I had a bit of a rant about how pointless it was and listed some of the side effects from chemo that I am experiencing and that the chain message in no way tackled. I think I shocked some people as it was the first time I’d been so openly negative about what I’ve been experiencing. In typical fashion I then felt guilty about having made anyone reading my post feel uncomfortable.

On reflection it struck me that I’ve not yet documented in one place all of the delightful side effects I’ve experienced from chemo. It feels like an omission. If I’m going to be honest about this whole thing, I need to be open about it all. In the future, when I gloss over the chemo stage, it’ll be useful to be able to look back and remember how it really was. So here we go. My own personal encyclopaedia of side effects from both AC and Taxol.

AC
– nausea (particularly my first cycle when I wasn’t given cyclazine)
– dizziness
– fuzzy gooey wading through treacle chemo brain
– constipation at the start, loose smelly poos at the end of the cycle
– very dry mouth, sore mouth
– fatigue
– hair loss
– sore hands and feet (the start of hand foot syndrome)
– acid reflux
– runny eyes and nose
– stiff neck especially at night
– anxiety
– smell sensitivity
– mucus in mouth
– headaches/dehydration

Taxol

– fatigue – worse than on AC or possibly cumulative
– bone ache
– muscle ache
– inability to concentrate/ remember chemo brain
– nail ache/soreness
– hand foot syndrome
– skin on feet peeling
– diarrhoea
– piles
– dry eyes
– bad taste in mouth
– bleeding gums
– blood up my nose
– tightness in chest
– headaches/dehydration
– heart racing and blood pressure up
– numbness in fingers and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
– swollen joints especially my knuckles
– hot flushes
– lots of wind

Quite a lot, then!

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