Sunday, February 19, 2017

Side effect check

We've definitely enjoyed the glorious and spring-like weather on our long Gozer walks this weekend! Gozer has also very much enjoyed all the smells being released from the melting snow and all the mud and dirt and thaw by-products. She has a filthy belly!

Since I am able to go on these walks, it's safe to say that I'm feeling pretty good overall. Yes, I have some pain in my sternum, but it's easily controlled. Yes, I'm a bit tired but I don't think I'm much more tired than normal.

One side effect I hadn't anticipated that has shown up is that my lymphedema is flaring up a bit. It makes sense that this would happen: the lymphatic system transports cells to prevent infection and removes waste and will be heading for the treatment area. Since my lymph fluid doesn't drain very well on the lymphedema side when I'm not undergoing treatment, it's not going to drain well on that side when I am undergoing treatment. I need to do the manual lymphatic massage exercises I was given ages ago to help the fluid circulate.

The other side effect that has surprised me is anxiety attacks. I'll be sitting there when all of a sudden my heart starts pounding and I feel scared and shaky and I want to hide. I have self-care techniques to deal with these (mainly deep breathing, asking myself questions about what I'm feeling, and talking about it) but even so I'm not liking them. Ian pointed out that the cancer is much more top ofind than usual what with the treatment and pain. This makes sense as I'd kind of put the cancer mortality fears to bed, in a way. When nothing is happening it's easy to forget that something could happen, if that makes sense. If it comes to it I have medications I can take for this anxiety but I think I'll be ok.

I haven't experienced any other side effects so let's hope things stay that way :)

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