Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Neulasta

650 persimon green

I came home after seven days at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica.
There, I received five days of EPOCH + Rituximab chemotherapy after I was told I had “weeks to live.” I wrote about it on my blog, “Only Weeks to Live” and “My First Chemotherapy.”

I was so happy to leave the hospital even all the nurses, staff and doctors were nice.

It was sunset time, so I asked Eric to drive along the beach. It was such a big, beautiful sunset, right on time. The smell of the ocean gave me proof of my living. Thank you!

650 After hospital

 

I came home and smelled my garden when I opened the gate. The trees and flowers all welcomed me.

650 persimon green

My persimmon tree welcomed me!

 

Then, I saw my dogs and cats family.
I was surprised to see that they were quiet.
They all smelled me and walked away; they must have smelled the chemotherapy. Usually they get so excited when I come home from a trip, but not this time. Even the most excitable dog, Happy, just came and put her head on my knee.
I told each of them, “Thank you for being so good while I was in the hospital. I am back and so happy to see all of you!”

They were happy, and at the same time, they said they wanted to respect my healing space, so they would be quiet. I could not believe how they understand so much.

 

650 Tin & Mai

Mai Mai (left) and Tin Tin (right)

 

650 Oro-Bubu-Leo

Oro, Bubu and Leo

 

I realy wanted to take a shower or bath, but I have the PICC line on my left arm, so it is not easy to take them. I also felt very tired so I decided to just do a foot bath. It helped me and

It helped me and I slept so well the first night, compared to the hospital (there was so often nurses, doctors or someone was coming to my room check my tempreture, blood pressure and take blood etc.), even though everyone was nice It not easy to sleep there at all.

 

Here is a list of common side effects of most of chemotherapy that I was told:
    • Fatigue. This is a persistent feeling of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion. …
    • Pain. Chemotherapy sometimes causes these types of pain:
    • Mouth and throat sores and pain with swallowing
    • Fever.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Constipation.
    • Blood disorders.
    • Hair loss
    • Easy bruising and bleeding
    • Infection
    • Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
    • Appetite changes
    • Nerve and muscle problems such as numbness, tingling, and pain
    • Skin and nail changes such as dry skin and color change
    • Urine and bladder changes and kidney problems
    • Weight changes
    • Chemo brain, which can affect concentration and focus
    • Mood changes
    • Changes in libido and sexual function
    • Fertility problems
    • and more

What do I need to know about side effects?

  •  Every person doesn’t get every side effect, and some people getEvery person doesn’t get every side effect, and some people get few, if any.
  • The severity of side effects (how bad they are) varies greatly from person to person. Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about which side effects are most common with your chemo, how long they might last, how bad they might be, and when you should call the doctor’s office about them.
  • Your doctor may give you medicines to help prevent certain side effects before they happen.
  • Some chemo drugs cause long-term side effects, like heart or nerve damage or fertility problems. Still, many people have no long-term problems from chemo. Ask your doctor if the chemo drugs you’re getting have long-term effects.

More info: American Cancer Society Site.

 

I woke up with my body trying to push out toxins. I had a headache, my hair was letting me know I had to wash my hair. Eric helped me wach my hair and I was so happy!

650 Washed my hair

My hair and I were so happy after washed my hair.

 

I had uncomfotableness in my stomach and experienced body twitching.  I was also nervous about getting the Neulasta shot that I had to go the next day, so I did not sleep well.

Neulasta shot

Nervous about getting the Neulasta shot…no smile.

Neulasta shot garden

Beautiful garden view from the Neulasta shot room.

 

The Neulasta shot was easer than I thought and the room had beautiful garden view helped me even I was not able to smile from headach I had already.

After the shot I did not feel much different, but at night I woke up with dry mouth and a lot of pain on my backbone a few times. By the morning, I had so much pain all over my bones, which I never expected. We humans have so many bones in our bodies. You can imagine if all of them were in pain at the same time. My body was screaming!

 

Other side effects included stomach discomfort, constipation ( I had bowel movement, but it was not easy like used to be and the Neulasta made more difficult) numbness of the fingertips —first the index fingers, and now all of them (also toes), a strange vaginal odor, hemorrhoids (just swelling), right side kidney pain. On my skin, I had spots (look like bruises or burns) along my spine; a birthmark/burn-type mark over my liver; and peeling skin on my hips, down to my thighs—more on the right side. Everything tasted bitter and metallic. I could not sleep at all because of the pain.

650 Spine spots

Mark on liver

 

What do I do?

Just breathe and be me—that’s all I could do.

After the fourth day of Neulasta, I had a little fever, and the pain was not going anywhere. I did not know about Neulasta, so it took me by surprise to experience this much pain, which wiped me out for 10 days. I could not move or talk much.

Neulasta wiped me out

So much bone pain – Neulasta shot wiped me out.

 

The only way I felt better was when Eric pushed on each bone, as gentle Shiatsu helped the pain. Also, when I received moxibustion on my bones, it helped.

Otherwise, I laid down and closed my eyes and I was just breathing and being me.

Clsed my eyed laid down

Just close my eyes and being me!

 

After one week, I am glad that I finally have a little less pain and I was able to eat.

650 Eating

Eating my brown rice miso porridge.

 

I had a good morning and all my dog family came to see me in my bed room. I love them so much and enjoy being with them again.

650 With HHP

Enjoying being my dog family again.

 

Thank you for your prayers and continuous support.

We are grateful and invite you to help us at this time by YouCaring Fundraisng to Support Sanae’s Recovery from Cancer or purchasing our books directly from us to cover my medical expenses.

Here are our books:

Love, Sanae

Love-Sanae-front-cover

 

Love, Eric and Sanae

love-es-front-cover

 

Love, Eric Revised

love-eric-revised-the-front-cover

 

Healthy Happy Pooch

HHP-book-front-cover

 

My post mailing address for sending your card, gift or check:

2610A 23rd St.

Santa Monica, CA 90405

 

I will not be able to personally reply to each person, but I promise I will read everyone’s messages, emails, and cards.

Love, Sanae 💖

 

To be continued: Feeling Better After Chemotherapy and Neulasta

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