Behind the scenes of chemo lie more side effects than I first thought. Now I’m not one to grumble especially as so far the major effects that others suffer most from, like the vomiting and tiredness has kind of bypassed me but more and more are creeping up to surprise me as I’ve noticed on my second time around. My memory is a thing of the past and my concentration levels are currently zero, something I think must have been removed along with the cancer during my surgery.

My hair falling out has to be the scariest of all side effects but one I have dealt with the best. After my hair fell out I became used to the stares on the school playground and at the local shops but someone upstairs was clearly having a laugh when my hair started to grow back and my eyebrows fell out! So although I should be smiling that my hair is on its way back I do wonder for how long? In two weeks’ time its rota’d to make a sharp exit once again this time leaving me completely bald with no eyebrows or lashes to complement my look. However I still happen to have hair on my arms that I do not require so a fair trade would be nice if given the option.

And whilst we are talking of appearance, my vanity has once again flew at high speed out of the window when the acne reoccurred playing dot to dot across my face and chest that only the thickest concealer is able to cover. And speaking of cover, thank god winter is here as now my nails are starting to fall off. It started with ridges, then thickening and then lifting of the nail plate and now my toe nails are hanging on by a thread, nothing a nice new pair of patent leather knee high boots won’t cover. (nudge, nudge Christmas present hint there).

So the hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and nails are all on my Christmas wish list along with my new boots and I’ll be needing a whole new set of all of them please Father Christmas along with a box of super soft Kleenex to wipe my streaming, puffy eyes and runny nose. The good news is I only have hot flushes at night but when they come along, boy do I know about them. After snuggling up in bed, cosy and warm and just about to dose off…whoa! The duvet comes flying off just long enough for the beads of sweat on my top lip and forehead to surface and then I pull the covers back over again, and off again and over again and off again and over again and this goes on for most of the night. So along with the insomnia that creeps in most nights fanning myself like I’m on a Barbados beach gives me something to do whilst I lie there, wide awake, in the middle of the night, listening to Carl snore.

To add to the witch’s cauldron my taste buds have turned into something ranging from non-existent to metal Mickey mouth. I feel like I’ve been sucking on a my car keys or that loose change I’ve got at the bottom of my purse and food that should taste spicy does not and yet a little salt and pepper can blow my head off. Everyone knows how much I love my food but it’s wasted on me at the moment as its pot luck as to whether I will even be able to taste it or not. And my toilet habits …well I’ll leave them right there, in the toilet. Let’s just say things aint rosy in that department either thanks to the steroids and anti-sickness drugs I am commissioned to take but I’d sooner take Senokot than be puking my guts up every 3 weeks.

With a cold looming and swollen glands in my throat and no white blood cells to fight the infection I have to approach with caution every person who comes within a short distance of me. I’m ready for the knacker’s yard as some may say. But hay, it aint over till the fat lady sings and as weight gain is also on the side effects menu, I’ll be warming my vocal cords for when that day arrives.

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