A woman hunches over sadly

I Am Sad and Scared All the Time

It’s funny, the things we think we know about chemo, because that’s how it is in the movies, or your great-grandmother had it and you watched her waste away, but no one would talk about it. I threw up a lot. I knew that would happen. But no one told me that certain smells would make me sick. I had diarrhea all the time. Still do. No one told me that I would develop canker sores all over the inside of my mouth, or that my finger and toenails would become infected. I had no idea I would lose my sense of taste. It has never been the same, and that is really a shame because I really do love to eat. I knew I would lose my hair, but it never occurred to me that I would lose ALL of it. That’s right. ALL. OF. IT. I only focused on the hair on my head.

Nausea from chemo

While I was throwing up and could barely crawl out of bed, I missed a lot of work. In the beginning, it was not good, and even today, I’m not sure what I was expected to do. I was exhausted all the time. I couldn’t drive, I started forgetting things. Doc’s appointments, teachers on the extra-pay sheet; my head felt like it was stuffed with cotton candy.

Lymphedema

Quite a lot of that has eased, except for the lymphedema. It is frustrating trying to manage it. If I don’t keep it wrapped, it hurts and puffs up looking like a big, brown sausage. From the time I unwrap and shower, the thing is twice the size. I purchase new compression bandages and a sleeve twice a year, which insurance will not cover. There is only one lymphedema therapist in town, and she’s amazing. When my arm becomes unmanageable, I get a prescription for PT.

Additional side effects

I’ve developed osteoporosis and cardiomyopathy as a result of all the drugs I’ve taken for the last twenty years. Those two side effects scare me the most. Often, my feelings are raw as I navigate these side effects alone. It wasn’t always that way, but I think it is assumed that I exaggerate how I’m feeling, especially after I’ve worked all day. I’m sad and scared all the time. Imagine my joy when I stumbled onto this site. I could finally be how I am instead of always “acting as if” to protect others. I appreciate all of you!

What metastatic breast cancer side effects are the most difficult for you to manage?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AdvancedBreastCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.