Treatment side effects

Cancer, it just keeps on giving!  I had treatment number 33 last Wednesday and I'm feeling it.  Thankfully not with nausea but the other weird and wonderful side effects that I had during my initial 6 rounds of chemo.  My body must have got used to the drugs however with the 12 week coronavirus enforced break I've lost my tolerance and these lovely side effects have returned:  

1. Hoarseness or weak voice
Now this is a weird one as it's usually associated with thyroid, lung, esophagus or head and neck cancer treatments.  True to form I'm not conforming and my voice tends to crack or break as I'm speaking.  It's not painful, just annoying.

2.  Brittle, dry nails
I've battled with this for the past two years.  My nails frequently rip to the quick making it really painful and not at all glamorous.  I recently discovered Evaux Evonail which has helped however the company has gone into liquidation.  I've been recommended Polybalm Rich Nail Remedy which will hopefully be just as good.  The other recommendation is to keep hands and cuticles moisturised and one of the best hand creams (thanks mum) is Udderly Smooth Extra Care Cream.  

3.  Skin on your feet become sore and blister
I'm a Kiwi kid, I played barefoot most of my childhood.  I wore heels day and night in my twenties and thirties and I ran a marathon without losing a toe nail.  Put me on chemo and antibody treatment and my feet give up.  The most irritating thing is the blisters.  The skin on the top, bottom and sides of my feet is so delicate now.  I get blisters when I'm wearing the most sensible shoes of all, Birkenstocks.  

4. Nose bleeds 
Another joy of treatment is nose bleeds from the Trastuzumab.  Previously I had permanent bleeding and scabbing inside my nose.  It finally went away when I was prescribed Naseptin.  The nose bleeds are back again. 

5. Pruritus 
Another bizarre side effect I've acquired is crazy itchy shoulders, particularly my right shoulder.  It comes on suddenly and it's so intense I want to scratch the skin off.  There's no rash, no redness, there's just an itch.  I've tried steroid creams, the drug amitriptyline and finally I've been referred to a dermatologist.  My appointment is on Monday 3 August and I can't wait.

6. Diarrhoea
Another fun one, the sudden need to dash to the toilet.  Forgetting that treatment can have this affect I set off for my walk in the park.  I suddenly felt a stomach cramp.  The cold sweats started as I walked like a determined mad woman in a bee line home, making it just in time.  

7. Chemo brain  
We all joke about baby brain and chemo brain but when you're trying to put in a good days work, it makes it really difficult.  Some days it really does feel like there's a fog in my head that I have to wait for it to lift before I can concentrate on anything.  

8.  Fatigue 
This is what I'm struggling with the most.  I had a good talk with an occupational therapist about it during my last treatment appointment.  We discussed the routine of my day, changing things up to see whether that would help maintain energy throughout the day and stop me crashing at lunch time.  

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