Chemotherapy’s Long & Nasty Goodbye


The only thing I can tell anyone, based on my experience this summer, about chemotherapy is that it will be unlike any one else’s experience. But more important thant that, is treatment will be different from week to week, day to day and hour to hour.

I have had my treatments on Monday – my final chemo was Monday, July 20 My bad days  had consistently been Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Sure I had a few other days during the week of chemo when I had the major yuck but for the most part the worst were those days.

It’s with those thoughts in mind that approached that last chemo with hopes but an open mind. I had a bad Monday evening, pretty yucky Wednesday and so-so Thursday and Friday.

Then yesterday I got walloped. I walked to local farmer’s market and barely had strength to get back. I slept most of day 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in front of television with extreme exhaustion and major, major mouth yuck. I had a headache, brain fry, and an upset stomach. And not so gloriously, after 12 weeks of constipation, I finally got the diarrhea that so much literature predicted. It left me rather astonished that five days after my last chemo I’d have one of the worst days of all six treatments.

I guess considering ‘culumulative effect,” I shouldn’t have been surprised. Today, has been better. I haven’t had the same level of yuck. Or for you newbies – dry mouth, with a chemical taste that does not go away equals a yuck you’ll deal with throughout chemo.

So I’m hoping the yuck stays at a manageable level this week. I fear the fatigue though. Each time my fatigue has worsened, it hasn’t gotten better. I got winded making one trip to my basement and back this morning.

Chemo and her/his nasty fatigue is trying hard to get the last laugh — indeed, a long goodbye.

About Howard

After most of my career in the newspaper business I joined higher education, working in Public Affairs. I write mostly about value wine. I have now taken early retirement and work part-time in a small boutique, retail wine shop in Indianapolis
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