When cold hurts

This is a chemo-recovery weekend, and it’s been a mixed one in terms of side effects. The fatigue has been more than manageable — in between naps, I’ve cleaned the house, gone grocery shopping, participated in a panel discussion for Bronson’s Colorectal Awareness Health Fair, exercised, etc. I also haven’t had any problems with queasiness or nausea.

But the neuropathy that I’ve largely avoided so far has finally kicked in. My fingers burn and tingle whenever I touch something cold, and there’s the same sensation in my throat when I drink anything with ice or that’s very cold. The burning/tingle in my fingers also kicks in when I’m trying to open something or do anything that causes pressure or friction. At least the sensation is intermittent and I’m hoping it goes away in a day or so. In particular, not being able to drink anything cold really sucks.

The panel discussion was interesting — I was one of six people that also included my friend Bill, who had colon cancer 19 years ago, and several medical professionals. But the interesting part was more the audience questions, including an outburst from a middle-aged woman whose mother’s colon cancer had gone undiagnosed until it was advanced and she ended up dying a “horrible death,” according to the daughter. The woman was very, very bitter about her mother’s death and what she viewed as the doctor’s incompetence. Part of me was very sympathetic. But part of me thinks that level of bitterness doesn’t do anybody any good. We all die. Life is unfair. Bad things happen to good people. To think that any of us are exempt is an illusion.

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