So. I’ve finally completed the 6-month chemotherapy journey. As I’m writing now, it has been 3 weeks since my final treatment that started on 14 Sept and ended on 16 Sept (Malaysia Day).
I felt like a veteran chemo patient by the final cycle. The chemo needle felt so normal. Going to the washroom every 20 min during chemo (because I was prescribed with med to make me pee more) felt normal. Leaving the chemo ward with needle on my chest felt normal.
The only thing that didn’t feel normal was that I didn’t have to return and be administered two weeks post-chemotherapy.
Because of that, I have pretty much forgotten that the final cycle was still a chemotherapy treatment that would make me feel sucky. It didn’t help that my oncologist removed one drug that caused most of my side effects, so I thought I’d feel alright for the last cycle.
I was clearly very wrong. My body ached like the cycle before. My shoulders, back and sides of my body felt like they were bruised. They were not bruised; just felt like it. You bet I didn’t feel like moving at all.
I still felt very tired post treatment, which was completely normal. But because I kept telling myself that I’ve finished the treatment, I had forgot that I still had to recover from it.
Once I regained my energy on 7th day of my final cycle, the only side effect that still bugged me was the numbness. Numbness continued to escalate and now I have to learn to live with it.
Even though my fingers and feet are numb, I find myself extra sensitive to a few sensations. One would be sand; I can feel every grain of sand under my feet so it’s actually rather uncomfortable. I’m also more sensitive to heat — cold or hot.
I’ve finally understood what doctor meant when he said I’d have trouble putting on buttons. My finger tips can’t fully feel the button and the button hole so it’s hard to put on buttons without staring closely at where my fingers are going and what they are doing.
I actually went to work one day without putting on the back button on my blouse because I gave up and forgot about it. Thank god for sweet colleague who helped me with it at work! ^^
Once, I was leaving One Utama alone. After paying for my parking ticket, I grabbed it from the autopay machine and walked away for a good 10 steps before I looked down and realized the ticket was not in my hand. I thought I dropped it. But the fact was I didn’t pull it out from the machine and I didn’t even feel it.
Another real story: I wear loafers to work from time to time and love to swing my legs around at my work desk. Sometimes, my loafers slip off my feet. Guess what? I don’t feel it too until I land my feet and wonder why my soles are touching the carpet floor.
It’s harder to put on footwear too because I feel like my feet are not mine. My pinky toes would stick out and get stuck when I wear sandals. It’s harder to walk properly, especially when my shoes don’t fit me very well; they keep slipping off my feet like I’m Cinderella!
Haha. I didn’t think I’d have so much to write even though I only experience two noticeable side effects from my 12th chemotherapy treatment. Let’s save the emotional and mental impact of chemotherapy for another post. Till then.