Monday, March 29, 2010

Beware of the Clear Devil

It's been far too long since I've posted anything. I'm sorry. That is in part to how I have been feeling. I have started a new chemo drug, Taxol, that is taking everything I've got. I thought Red Devil was the Clear Devil. It's sneaky!

So what is different?

Bone Pain...deep bone pain. Imagine the pain of spraining both your ankles. Then have that same pain radiate up your legs to your hips and settle there. That's how I felt with the first dose. That's when I went back on pain meds. I (now) like pain pills...and fortunately they like me. The second dose, that same pain went from my hips and up, with sparks of pain in my legs and ankles. More pain meds.

Chemo Induced Neuropathy...continues from Red Devil. My hands first burned and itched, which we realized was the chemo breaking through the skin. One weekend when I was down in bed, Jared brought a bowl of fresh water for me to rinse my hands, every hour. (Yes, I have a good husband. The first time he rinsed the bowl out with water using his bare hands. His hands began to burn!) From there the neuropathy causes the fingers to swell and tingle and HURT. That goes along with the blistering and peeling of the skin. Now I have the pain concentrated in my fingertips and I have yellow, red, and purple fingernails that are becoming grossly misshaped . My feet are just a step behind in going through the same phases. I have to wear crocs or other thick soled shoes to be able to walk. My feet are peeling and my nails are beginning to have the same lovely manicure. The fun of it all is that I have started over with my hands burning...starting the whole process all over again. Some days I haven't been able to dress myself. Simple tasks like filing papers at school have become impossible. Holding on to the steering wheel is painful. Even trying to turn pages, or pick things up, or open containers is a huge challenge.

Toxic Tears...I tear most of the time now. And these are chemo laced tears. Sometimes I'm crying, but most of the time I look like I am. The edges of my eyelids are sore and burning. I am enduring my second sty, and I never used to get sties. Sometimes my eyes are glued shut in the morning. But there is no eye infection. No germs could live in these eyes! I am just hoping to hold on to my eye lashes. Please, just hold on!

Nose Drips...When I was told I would loose my hair, I thought of the hair on my head, maybe my eyelashes and eyebrows...of course thrilled to loose arm pit and leg hair....but I didn't think about the nose hairs! And I wouldn't have thought of what that would do. Have you ever had a runny nose? Have you ever had it for 3 months straight? Have you ever had it for 3 months with out nose hair? I was never grateful for nose hair. I am now. Those little growths we try so hard not to let show have a vital purpose. THEY SLOW DOWN THE DRIPS!!! Chemo had cleared my sinuses and it keeps clearing them. I have a constant flow...of clear liquid...from my nose. Agh! I can't go anywhere or do anything without a supply of tissues. They are in my pockets, my purse, my bags, my coats, my car, my everything! And at least one it my hand, constantly. Oh yes, I am grateful for tissues too!

Fatigue...Not that I didn't have fatigue on Red Devil, but this is constant. I don't fully bounce back like I did before. Gone are the days where I felt close to human again, if only for a few days. My body now is heavy all the time. I fight the impulse to daydream about my bed constantly. Or if I am home, to just crawl in and sleep for the day, and the next day, and the next...

I'd tell you more...but I can't remember...Oh yes, Chemo Brain! That has been a constant. I forget words or thoughts, or even whole conversations. Now, I did this before cancer, but now it's really gone. I have no connections in my brain to even dig for the missing information. It's a barren wasteland of blank, of nothingness. Gone!

I am amazed at how cancer has a way of getting into every part, every nook-n-cranny of life. Each day it's something new. But despite it all, I am grateful for the journey. I would have never known the depth of this disease. I would have never have known the heights of being carried in the midst of this disease. I would have never known my Savior with the intensity that I know HIM...without this disease. Now I KNOW....


  1. Oh Jen, I think I should come visit you!!! I can't wait!!!
    Love, Aunt Nancy

  2. I had no idea what chemo was like! I'm just sick hearing about everything you are going through. You are in my prayers.

  3. I was hoping that you hadn't posted for so long because you were doing well. It sounds so awful. I never would have know that was how you were feeling. You put on such a positive face. You are amazing. I hope it gets better for you really soon.

  4. Glad to hear from you again! I never knew you were going through such awful stuff, and I can only pray that you can feel how much I love you, and that God will maybe make your burden a bit lighter. I'm sure he will make up the difference for the things you just can't do. I wish I were closer and able to help.
    By the way, you may not remember this conversation(chemo brain and all), but you were going to send me twenty dollars. Trust me.


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