When I told my daughter that I was going to this class, she thought it was cool, and slyly asked if I was going to make friends with the other kids in my class. Isn’t she cute???
There were five of us, and I was the youngest. But I impressed our teacher right off the bat by wearing my Ravens sweatshirt and purple lipstick. 😁
We learned basic things including the possible side effects of chemo, symptoms to watch out for, and things to do (and not do) in order to not get sick while on chemo. For example, if I choose to eat red meat during chemo, it must be cooked well done. So that eliminates burgers for me. I will need to stay away from anyone receiving “live” vaccines, like kids who are receiving the MMR. I should stay away from crowds, and if I have to go out where there are a lot of people I should wear a mask of some type. [NOTE: This was written & experienced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the United States]
Now let me pause here a moment and complain. Just a little bit. I went to amazon and a local Walmart and they are out of masks. I understand that there are a lot of people who need masks in other parts of the world right now, so that kinda explains the shortage on amazon. But why is my local Walmart out of masks??? Why? Because people see a money-making opportunity and are buying low & selling high; taking advantage of those who need them. Now I’m in a position where I need one for a completely different reason and I can’t find a decent one I can afford. Ok, rant over…
There was one part I actually liked and my verbal approval made the whole class laugh… There was a slide talking about nutrition and the fact that chemo has adverse effects on the GI tract & digestive system. They were saying that at times, it might be easier to drink my nutrition rather than chew it. The two main examples were milkshakes and smoothies. 😍 I said that was the first positive thing I’ve heard in all of this! Yes, the other kids in my class laughed! But I did find another silver lining… I’m not all that thrilled about losing my hair. I’ve always had long hair and it’s one of the things that I thought made me pretty, so going bald is NOT something I’m looking forward to. But what I didn’t realize (and it makes total sense, but I’ve never heard anyone talk about it!) was that you lose ALL of your hair. Ladies, do you know what that means??? It means I won’t have to shave my armpits or my legs at all this spring!!!
Maybe that’s not such a big thing, but it’s something I’ve always loved the look/feel of, but hated to do. So it’s something. I’m really trying to make jokes and laugh. I’m trying not to complain so much (ok, I did some complaining a couple paragraphs up; but I am trying). One piece of advice I was given early on was to try to be as positive as possible. And like I said earlier, I’m generally an Eeyore. So it’s not easy. I’m looking for silver linings. I’m making jokes where I can. I actually bought that pair of boxing gloves I mentioned a couple posts ago; I’m going to have a physical reminder of this fight I’ve committed to win.
This post, Chemo Class, first appeared on heathergaffney.com. Copyright 2020; all rights reserved. This site uses affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through one of my affiliate links, I will make a small commission, but you won’t pay any extra. This helps my family through this difficult time and we appreciate your use of our links.
See all posts on my breast cancer journey here.