Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I can say with complete and utter conviction that chemo therapy is a combat soldier marching through your body, destroying everything in its' path. It also destroys some good things such as bones and muscles.  Your heart is a muscle.  My heart was weakened back in 1996/1997 but it did not show until this year.  At least, that is what the doctors tell me.  
There are many different side effects of chemo therapy that effect different people, differently.  

Most people lose their hair, some not as much as others.  I am guessing it depends on your dosages.  I always said back then that they were giving me enough chemo medication to kill an elephant.
I lost every single hair on my body. Some areas happily, some not so happily like on my head.  
Some people choose different methods of hiding that.  Wigs, fancy scarfs, little caps and the brave just let their bald head show.  I chose to use a bandana - you know - like the ones that gang members wear to show their "colors".  I had to be careful about where I walked and what part of the city just in case I could get shot at - J/K. I thought it looked a little more youthful.
Those chemo combat soldiers also destroy most of your taste buds so everything tastes the same.  My diet consisted of mashed potatoes. french fries with ketchup, and the real Coca Cola with sugar.  I did not eat french fries as a regular thing before or after chemo and I always drank diet soda. I could not eat vegetables or salads. I did eat a lot of creamy things.  Instead of losing weight during chemo I gained. 
Actually, gaining weight gave me a feeling of wellness. 
My mom was very supportive during this process but could not understand the eating part.  She has always been focused on weight and was upset that I was gaining.  Going on a healthy diet during chemo?  PULEEEZE!
I do want to say here that everyone is different.  These are just my own personal reactions.  Also, chemo medications have improved since 1996/1997.
Stay tuned for Part 3.


Sue Anderson


bananaorangeapple said...

Sue you are an amazing witness. I am really interested in finding out how you coped with the chemo since one my of my littlest students is going through that now.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

I did not realize how chemo affects everything while you are on it...thank you for the insight.

Mechelle said...

Wow, Sue you have been through a lot. Chemo treatments so difficult. I didn't realize about it changing your sense of taste.

Luella Newkirk said...

Your account sounds very much like the experiences of a friend of mine who was taking chemo around this same time period. Three women I know are currently in cancer treatment; their courage and general optimism are amazing to me. Thank you for sharing, Sue.

Rose said...

Thank you for sharing,

Recovered Fundie said...

Your food choices sound like comfort foods. When my husband went through 3 major surgeries in 9 days to combat pancreatic cancer, I craved mashed potatoes and steamers from the coffee shop. I think the carbs and the sugars in the soda probably helped you keep going. Chemo is still very destructive but if it kills the cancer it is a God send.


Lorrie Esposito said...

Sue, like any cancer survivor I have nothing but the utmost respect for your courage. So glad you are cancer free and can bless us on our CAST team :-)

Linda Pruitt said...

Have seen you on CAST team events, but didn't realize that you are a breast cancer survivor too! God is good and I have survived now for seven years!! Thanks for sharing!

knitblitz said...

Sue,thinks for sharing this. I am sure it is a big help to people who have to have chemotherapy and it helps people who have not know how you feel. ♥