Saturday, April 2, 2011

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuopathy!!!!....something I didn't even know existed until this dreaded beast darkened my door.  It is the condition that often is a side effect of chemotherapy.    For me it was a deterioration of the mylan that covers the nerves.   This does not usually regenerate so the side effects continue over time.  What this all means is that my legs and feet hurt like hell most of the time, but especially at night.    Obviously, I had an exceptionally bad night last night which is why I am writing about it.   At night it is an aching, twitching, that prevents you from actually finding a comfortable way to lie.   I tossed and turned as my pain goes right up into my hips and makes it feel like my body weights a 1000 lbs and is pressing on the nerves of my hips.   During the day, or more particularly at the end of the day, my feet burn and  feel like I am walking on hot coals.

Not to sound like a martyr but I have become used to the pain and usually can manage it and ignore it.   There are times though, like last night, when it is so unbearable I just about cry the whole night through.
I have tried drugs to alleviate the pain but they make me feel even worse the next day, sluggish and stunned, so I figure good old Advil seems to be the best for me.

It is interesting that sometimes the thing that keeps the cancer at bay causes more or different problems.  I know they aren't life-threatening, not usually anyways.   The doctors do tell you, or at least told me, that there is a chance that I may end up with leukemia by taking the particular drugs for my cancer.   This is b/c it lowers the blood count and sometimes it won't rise again.  I was extremely lucky that not only did this not happen but during all 12 rounds of chemo I never had to rec a blood transfusion.  So I digress as usual!

There are a number of things most people don't know about that cancer patients (survivors) must contend with after the treatments.   One is this pain in our limbs which is very common.  Another, due mainly to surgery in the abdomen, is constant bowel problems.  It appears that the bowel is not very 'happy' when you play with it.   It has a tendency to punish you for years to come for trying to move it around or dissect it.   Having had both, the bowel is a constant problem too for me.    Anyways, today I am just whining about all my ailments.   I don't usually complain, but last night was really bad and I just needed to vent.

Just a thought, the next time you see someone who you know has gone through these treatments, which they say in a 100 years will be likened to bloodletting, ask them really how they are and maybe even let them know that you now know that even after the treatments they are contenting with some problems.    I mean don't say something like "how are your bowels" that might not go over well.

So my rant is over, I feel much better, and now I will go off and clean house.    One of those things that doesn't go away either after cancer..........................

1 comment:

Pat said...

...and yet you always present a happy face to the world!