Tingling and Numbness in my Fingers and Toes May never Go Away

I set up at the First Saturday Art Market this past saturday April 2, 2010…was a slow day until the end of the afternoon but had a lot of fun and saw a lot of friends that day. I’m rockin my new hair, white half-inch fuzz with a few black hairs. Never lost my eyebrows or eyelashes which was the only part of me that I didn’t lose during this cancer thing. I thought I was never going to get over the side effects from the last chemo but eventually, I have and I think my body knows that part of this journey is over. It seemed my energy has returned,  mostly. At least I can walk without feeling like I’m about to have a heart attack or just pass out. Walking up and down the stairs to my apartment feels like I’m a baby taking my frist steps alone., so excited.All of my fingernails hurt and I cannot pull up my lymphodema sleeve onto my arm at all without someone helping me because my nails are all about to fall off and new growth is already present and it can’t be soon enough for me. Most of my nails are black or yellow and brown, very very ugly.

I met my plastic surgeon yesterday and his assistant and was very pleased with both of them. He walked into my room and the first thing made a joke with me and I knew we were on the same page. My surgery is now scheduled for April 18 but the jury is out on exactly the type of surgery that will be performed. I’m going to lose either a full breast or a lot of tissue which will be determined by the MRI results which I also had yesterday. Yes, I hated it but took medication to put me in lala land. I actually thought I was grocery shopping and was making dinner for someone and when the nurse came to tell me the test was over, I laughed at myself thinking I was at Krogers in Montrose! Oh where the mind can take you!

I do have a lot more recovery to go with this whole process, just the chemo being over is not near the end. Surgery for the removal of the cancer that is left in my body, then radiation, then reconstruction surgery of the breast and all the while I will be getting massive amounts of testing, and will also still be getting infusions every 21 days of herceptin which they tell me has no side effects(do I really believe that?) and check ups of surgery go on and on. I can only take little bites of this at a time. Thinking too far into the future just makes me nuts…right this minute and for the past few days, I feel like my old self except when I look in the mirror…I have all my body parts still, my skin is a little thin, my nails look like I slammed them in the car door, all 10 of them and the toes and fingertips have numbness and tingling which is called nuethrophy  and they may remain that way for the rest of my life. My left arm is numb too from the previous lymph node removal this past September 2010, try to scratch an itch on a numb arm…yes, it gets very itchy and you can never be satisfied. Once you start scratching…so I try not to…very difficult and I know you reading this can’t understand what I’m talking about….just trust me on this one.   My bowels are still out to lunch. I know, TMI BUT a very bad side effect of chemo is either diarrhea or constipation….very uncomfortable for the patient…. from time to time I can taste my food and then sometimes everything will still taste like metal and cardboard, this is very crazy making and makes me cry sometimes for myself. The chemo and the cancer make me cry a lot, its like I have lost control of my emotions and my physician told me that most everyone does this, it is normal. I am so sick of crying but just to let you know that most cancer patients do this like heart patients and it is nothing to be ashamed of. My eyes are either dry and goopy from the chem or crying and when I wake up in the morning, I have to unglue my eyes…and sometimes I have to wipe myeyes just to see to drive or read this computer screen…….oh God…please make this go away, I’m so tired, really really tired. We take our lives for granted, I am no exception, we take our body functions for granted, we think everything is going to be the same for all of our lives and I’m here to tell you NOT….if this can happen to me, it can happen to you too and I wish I could say to you on how to prevent it or how better to deal with it but I can’t. I have many regrets of not taking better care of myself. 8 years of stress being a care taker, not getting mammograms, not exercising, drinking that one more drink, not getting enough rest and pushing myself too hard, eating foods that are processed, letting myself get overweight and sedentary….having too many regrets and wondering what I did to bring this on? Does anyone have the answers? Can I turn back the clock and get a redo? Should I have gone to church and prayed to God more? All these thoughs have gone through my head plus more that I can’t even share here….I think these thoughts and then let them go as fast as I can so I can have a clean slate and start over and stay positive and promise I will do better and take care of my mental and physical self. I try hard to not let “people and situations get to me” I take things more with a grain of salt…know that expression? I let stuff slide off my back, I cannot afford to get stressed out about much of anything if I’m going to get well . My recovery means absolutely EVERYTHING to me so don’t try to shake me up…I will just walk away from you and never look back. Being sick and poor in this country really sucks and having friends and people love you certainly helps with recovery.So be kind to each other and when someone you know gets ill from any disease or injured, don’t forget them. All the small little things that people do for me is so appreciated and so necessary. We as humans will not survive if we don’t help each other out. I can say honestly that I have already changed for the better, I’m a better person because I have cancer or HAD CANCER…(Staying postive)  I will tell you exactly what I’ve learned and experienced on a later post. And I am going to tell you some small things you can do to help someone that can change their life or make them comfortable while they go through healing from a disease or a life situation. You never know when you too may need help back.

I just found out last night that one of my brothers was told he has cancer cells in his stomach and esophagus…I filled out paperwork about my family history yesterday at MD Anderson and checked NO on the box where it asked if I have any family members that have or had cancer. I’m so sad….for him and for me.

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3 Responses to Tingling and Numbness in my Fingers and Toes May never Go Away

  1. deborah says:

    Aw Sam, I am so sorry to hear about your brother, but if you can, you are in a position to help and guide him. Thank you for sharing these deep, emotional feelings with us. I know that there is someone out there reading this that is so grateful for your bravery and honesty here in this format.
    Love you, bunches!
    ms D.

  2. perry says:

    My hopes and prayers are for you Sam. The strength of your resolve has seen you this far, and everyone knows it’ll see you dancing soon. You are too awesome too awesome to be kept down! Good luck, and good health, a thousand times over to you and yors!

  3. jewelz says:

    I still have some neuropathy, but not bad (mostly in fingertips). Was taking Cymbalta which completely managed the symptoms but I’ve gone off of that for various reasons.

    Who is your plastic surgeon? I’m having my revision in a couple of weeks by Dr. Adelman. He is adorable! Nice person, listened, asked questions and wore the coolest blue and orange glasses. 🙂

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