Today marks the halfway point of my Efudex topical chemotherapy treatment.  I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the halfway point, however.  On one hand, thank God I'm at the half!  On the other hand, seriously...it's only the half?!  I set a reminder on my iPhone calendar to denote my last day of treatment (as if I would accidently go beyond the completion date!).  Unfortunately, I miscalculated by a week!  I'm not going to lie, I was more than a little disappointed this morning when my Iphone reminded me that I was on my last day of treatment and common sense kicked in and reminded me that I couldn't possibly be foolish enough to believe that two weeks had passed!  Really, sometimes ignorance is bliss!
    As I said in my previous blog post, this is not the first time I have used these topical chemotherapy agents to heal damage I have allowed myself because of my love of the sunshine.  But no two treatments have been the same.  For example, the first time I ever used it, I was a bloody mess.  The second time, in the same area, wasn't quite as bad.  Perhaps I knew what to expect?  The third treatment was just about four months ago and the first week or two passed without much painful fanfare and I began to wonder whether I was just learning how to handle it better.  After all, the dermatologist had switched products to Efudex (current treatment product as well) which he assured me was much stronger and would be more painful and difficult to endure but would also produce better results.  When it hit, it did so with a vengeance! 
    And now, here we are.  My fourth go-round.  What I have learned is that the face is incredibly sensitive!  It took two days (just two!) for the cream to begin "melting" my face. My chest and arms are occasionally bothersome, but my face...YIKES!  It is red and splotchy and at times takes on an "angry" look all on it's own.  It is also difficult to move my lips and mouth (mostly just in the morning, but other times of the day are hit and miss) because of the dryness and heat that flood the skin around my mouth.  Yelling at the children would humor them (since I am yelling with my teeth firmly clenched together and my mouth virtually closed!) if they didn't worry so about the pain it causes me.  And I have taken to telling Mike and the boys when I am smiling at them rather than moving my face into an actual smile. :)  It's hard to believe that this is only the halfway mark...and yet the last three treatments have lasted from 4-6 weeks with this only clocking in at two! 
    I have also learned that my friends, who have always been amazing, are even more amazing than I ever realized!  One of them has cooked meals and altered the carpool schedule to accommodate my moments of agony.  Another has offered to spend time with the children so that I can just "be".  Others have offered to run errands or help around the house.  And perhaps my favorite offer has been from the friend who said that she would run laps around the neighborhood naked if the humor would help me to feel better.  And you know what?  If she thought it would help, she totally would!
    I love you, my friends!  All of you!  Not just because you are so wonderful to me, but because you are wonderful in general!
    XO!

 


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