July 16, 2017 Sunday
Remember I told you about pulling weeds off the fence the other day?? Today, I really paid the price for that activity. I woke up knowing that I was having a severe reaction to some plant I had pulled. Yesterday I used anti-itch cream on it but I knew that was not going to help today. I could feel the bumps under the skin on my hands, arms, neck, chin and face. Even worse was that the left side of my face was pretty red and swollen. My bottom lip had seemed numb yesterday but this morning both of my lips and part of my tongue was numb!! I could seem to feel that numbness advancing up my face – that may have been imagination but it seemed real to me!!
After considering my options, I felt I needed a steroid shot but didn’t know if that would interfere with the chemo treatment, so I called my oncologist’s office. The answering service lady, since its Sunday, listened to everything I said, took my name and phone number then told me to hold the line. She soon came back with the PA who was on duty today. I had figured I’d have to wait a long time before I got to speak to someone so I was very pleasantly surprised. She listened and in a while said she agreed that I needed a steroid shot and to call her at the office on Tuesday to tell her how I was doing!! I thought that sounded really good so that’s what I plan to do.
I went down the street to an urgent care place I had been to once before and was soon with a doctor. They gave me the shot and a prescription at a nearby cvs. I’ll have six pills to take tomorrow but I’ll do my best to take them at the correct times!! Then lots more for the following days. About a hour after I got home, Rachel asked if I could tell a difference and after thinking about it, I realized I could tell a little difference. My top lip was definitely less numb and as the day progressed, that numbness stopped completely. My bottom lip is still sort of numb and my face is still tingling but it’s much better this morning. At that time, I felt like I had a full beard of tingles!! The bumps are starting to come through the skin on my hands and face so I may look funny (funnier?) for a few days but I know I made the right decision to be proactive about this.
I’ve had this happen many times before but this is definitely the fastest and most severe reaction I’ve ever had. I wonder if it has anything to do with the chemo?? Maybe the chemo has lowered my resistance to the plant oils or something?? Also, I expect that at least some other people get “wild chin hairs” like I do – I have not had any in at least a week and that is very unusual for me. I expect the chemo is having a reaction with my hair growing cells. I’ll take that as a nice side effect for now. That makes me wonder how long til my hair falls out. I have not yet shaved it again but I may tomorrow. Or I may not!! I guess the chemo really is doing something inside me. That’s good to know.
The doctor had said I might get more sensitive to the sun but I plan to test that out. I have scheduled swim lessons for the kids on Monday and Tuesday. I will wear suncreen but I’ll stay in the sun as much as possible until I do have a real reactiion to the sun.
I don’t feel real wakeful right now but I don’t feel sleepy either. I hope the steroid shot and pills won’t cause me to stay awake the next few night. I will still be glad to have the steroids even if I don’t sleep, but I sure do like my sleep.
By the way, I just have to say I have THE sweetest grandkids ever!!