breast cancer, cancer, food, Mental Health

Chemo Made Me Do It

One of the side effects of chemotherapy are mouth sores. Sexy, right? My drug regiment is what they call ACT. (Adriamycin Cyclophosphamide and Taxel) My treatment starts with the administering of A and C together, and ends with T later on down the road. Some of the side effects of these drugs?

  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upset stomach or throwing up
  • Stomach pain or diarrhea
  • Change in color of skin
  • Change in nails
  • Mouth sores
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Compromised immune system
  • Heart problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Fertility problems
  • Changes in eyesight
  • Very bad and deadly liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • CANCER. Yes, drugs to fight cancer are carcinogenic. Isn’t THAT lovely? Also, not only are they carcinogenic to the patient, they also affect the environment around them. Patients not only get the drug coursing through their veins, they also excrete bodily waste that is carcinogenic. The cycle that just keeps on giving!

It’s like all of those drug ads. Possibly alleviating one ailment yet exposing you to a bunch of others. Awesome, ain’t it?

I went a little “wild” last week. I was like a pregnant woman with my cravings. From cookie dough and chocolate chip cookies, to pickles and pickle juice, to vinegar anything. I didn’t head the warnings of staying away from spicy foods, hot sauce, citrus, acidic foods, etc And BOY did I pay the price. You see that mouth sore section of side effects? Well FUCK. I got a major one on the back side of my tongue. Small, yet packing a fuckton of punch. So much pain it radiated out to my ear. As I read up on mouth sores, I found out, day 7 after chemo is when it gets its worst. Guess which day I indulged in everything I shouldn’t have? DAY 7!

Last night I sucked and circulated pieces of ice in my mouth for hours. Then attempted to go to bed. I took two doses of Advil, not sure if it helped much, and gave in and took a sleep aid. All I wanted to do is feel nothing and pass out. Most that know me, know I’m not into pharmaceutical drugs. So much so that I put some serious thought into becoming an ND when I was younger. (Naturopathic Doctor – Naturopathic medicine (or naturopathy) is based on the belief that the body can heal itself. It aims to improve health, prevent disease, and treat illness through the use of organic foods and exercise; a healthy, balanced lifestyle; and the use of treatments from other areas of complementary medicine. These treatments include ayurveda, homeopathy, and herbal therapies.) However, the uncertainty of an enjoyable income nipped that journey in the bud. But last night? I was ready to take a Valium, or whatever one of those powerful ass painkillers that would take away the pain and just knock me the fuck out are.

I woke up around 3am still in discomfort and major pain as the sore on my tongue hits and scrapes upon my back tooth. So? I got up, and get this, WRAPPED the back of my damn tongue in Cling Wrap! And guess what? IT WORKED! It helped cushion my sore from the raggedness of my tooth and allowed me some hours of much needed, deep and peaceful sleep.

Fast forward to this morning. Let’s get the steel cut oats, I bought MONTHS ago, out and start getting serious with what I’m eating. I can’t eat raw nuts or veggies either, because of my compromised immune system. (I LOVE many things in their natural state) Anyhow. This is what happened:

A healthy meal of tuna salad, arugula, carrots and steel cut oats on a plate.
Steel cut oats, tuna, arugula and carrots cooked in coconut oil

Talk about a taste of the islands! Tuna and grits are a staple food in The Bahamas. I’m not much of a carb loader, so I’ve never cooked grits, but I’ve eaten them from time to time. This is my first time cooking steel cut oats, actually. DUDE. This was SUCH a delight to devour! My tastebuds and tummy are smiling. As for my tongue, it’s getting there. The top layer of my tongue is a little sore as well. But SO MUCH BETTER than Saturday. OH.MY.GOD.

As I meditated yesterday, I used a healing mantra. I promised to behave and asked to be healed today. I’m not fully there, but the future is hopeful. The fear of my cells not being able to heal themselves because of the toxins in my body, was worrisome. They say it takes 2-3 weeks AFTER chemo for sores in the mouth to heal. I have 6 months of it to go. 6 months of this pain was definitely not favorable or desired. So thank you, Universe, for hearing my call.

I’mma be good from here on in.

A cat drinking and eating Chicken of the sea albacore tuna with Lysol and Honey Nut Cheerios in the background.
A very happy kitty. She can go from somewhere to right there in a flash once she hear’s a can of tuna opening!

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