Thursday, August 1, 2013

Side effects

You always hear about hard chemo and radiation can be on the body, but you can't really grasp the intensity until it becomes personal. Just like cancer, really. My mom's doctors armed her with books, binders, pamphlets and long discussions about what to expect when the time for side effects came, but I don't think any of us were ready for how bad they were going to be. Especially because it took a good three full weeks before it happened. But when it did, (and I was there), it was heartbreaking to watch. Yes, the doctors told her she would lose her hair in the back of her head where she's getting radiation. I guess you can never really prepare yourself for a jarring sight like her touching that area and holding clumps of hair in her hand. They told us she would lose her taste. What we weren't prepared for was her gagging every time she takes a bite of food, running around like crazy trying to find something, anything, so she can get nutrients in her body. That's aside from her sore throat, mouth sores, burning skin, and of course, fatigue. No matter how much she sleeps, it always stays with her. She was supposed to have her second chemo session this past Monday, but it turned out that her white blood cell count was too low and her risk for infection too great so they had to reschedule it. That postpones her third session by another week, pushing out her entire treatment and giving her even more to worry about. But we push on, knowing we've reached the halfway point and praying she gets through it. So at the very, very least, she can know what fucking fried chicken tastes like again.