(Another musical reference - remember the Garbage song from the 90's??)
For the most part, things are still status quo. My treatments have continued on schedule (except I got to skip Thanksgiving week which was nice!), and I am still not feeling any of the expected side effects from the chemo. No numbness or tingling in my fingers and toes (yet), and so far my blood counts are just fine.
Oddly enough, however, I think I'm losing my eyelashes. It started a couple weeks ago - every time I washed my face I would seem to lose 2 or 3. On the bright side, I made a lot of wishes by blowing the stray lashes off my thumb. I still have some eyelashes, but they are noticeably thinner (at least to me) and mascara is becoming more difficult to apply.
I asked Dr. Sara about it and he said it's possible that this is a side effect of the chemo although usually the eyelashes are the last to go! Which was the case when I lost my hair on the first round. Weird. I am not losing my hair at all (thankfully!) so this must be some kind of fluky thing. Which is just fine with me, I guess - could be worse!
Now, you know how I always say that I am not going to worry about things until I have a reason to worry? Well, I've found that promise a little harder to stick by the last few weeks. I'm starting to experience some of the paranoia that I guess is inevitable when you have this dumb disease.
It all started in the couple weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. I was really busy at work - staying late and coming in early, and even doing some work from home over the weekend. Lots of time logged at the computer and then I went on a business trip for a few days where I brought my laptop and lugged the heavy thing through the airport.
So, naturally, I started to feel some tension and soreness in my back during this time. The problem is that when you have cancer, you become hyper aware of every little thing in your body, and there is always the nagging thought in your head that "what if this is not run-of-the-mill soreness, what if it's not a normal headache... what if it's the big bad C make another appearance?" It sucks, because once you entertain this thought it's hard to get it out of your head.
Every time I get checked out these days, Dr. Sara asks me if I'm having any back pain because of those two spots on my spine. So of course I was very aware of this when thinking about my back soreness. There've been times over the last couple weeks where I got really worried about it and I did lose a couple nights' sleep over it (but only a couple). But things always seem 10 times worse at night for some reason and then in the light of day you realize how ridiculous you were being.
And then there were other times (especially in the morning when I was well rested) when I thought I didn't feel anything at all and I thought I must be going crazy. And then the fleeting but quickly dismissed "oh no - if I'm going crazy does that mean the cancer could be in my brain?"!
So, on Friday I told Dr. Sara all about it. He said I am not going crazy and it is perfectly normal to feel this way and be worried about things that I feel. He examined me and said that he thinks it is just muscle soreness that I'm feeling, for two reasons. One, the specific spot that I seemed to feel it most is not right on the spine, but a little to the left. Two, he said the lesions that I do have (which have always appeared healed since they were discovered), are so small and located in a place that he wouldn't expect anyone to feel them.
But, just to give us all some peace of mind, I am going to have a bone scan on Wednesday. Dr. Sara said that he is not worried and he is not going to lose any sleep over it, and neither should I, but it will be good to have the scan just to be sure. I will get the results when I go for my regular chemo appointment on Friday.
This experience has made me realize that having cancer is like living under your own personal constant terrorist threat. Terrorists are fearmongers, and that is something they have in common with cancer. But I don't want to be the type of person who walks around with a gas mask in her purse because she's so paranoid! And I don't want to go running to Dr. Sara to get scanned every time I feel something a little off. But, it was good hear Dr. Sara say that I'm being completely normal, and even better to hear him say that he's not worried about it but we're going to get it checked out anyway.