More side effects

Sadly, I have reached the conclusion that my favorite spicy foods will be off the menu for the duration of chemo. We had spicy Louisiana gumbo for dinner a few nights ago, and the whole next day I felt as if my entire abdomen was on fire, and I felt bloated, gassy, and generally uncomfortable. The same thing happened a night or so later when dinner was tacos. But the final straw was the cioppino, which also left me very uncomfortable. So it looks like I am being reduced to eating a bland diet for the duration. Or I could occasionally just say the hell with it and pay the consequences the next day. (Knowing me, there will be a lot of consequences being paid.)

My taste buds don’t seem to be affected very much. The only thing that hasn’t tasted like it usually does is ginger beer. I haven’t noticed any other strange transformations in taste.

I do, however, have a very sore scalp. I’ve had a day or two since chemo started where hair fell out, but it has only happened a time or two. Then a couple of days ago, my scalp became very tender, sore, and itchy. And the hair started coming out in clumps. I wake up in the middle of the night with hair wrapped in my eyelashes and tickling my nose from all the hairs on my pillow. I didn’t think losing my hair would bother me very much, but it does now that it’s coming out in handfuls. I am tempted to shave my head at this point, because even though my hair is very short, it is very fine and when it falls out onto my face it tends to get up my nose and is just generally very annoying. Maybe shaving my head isn’t such a good idea if my scalp is so tender. Guess I’ll just have to be patient.

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8 thoughts on “More side effects

  1. Hi Ruth, I am sad to hear about the hair. But maybe you are right that now is the time to adopt a “look” of beautiful head scarves, or some hat of your choice.

    I’m hoping that you’ll discover some foods that were formerly too bland for you, which now become new favorites. You know, maybe something like egg custard… (My mother’s favorite food to have when she feels a bit “punky” is something that was considered a treat when she was a child — but for which I have never had any desire to try: milk toast. Here’s a link to an article about it — and a recipe: http://www.artandlemons.com/2012/02/milk-toast-a-recipe-revival.html

  2. Is the tender scalp one of the known side effects, Ruth? Or is it from the hair coming out? Sounds very uncomfortable in every way. I’m so sorry. Maybe there’s a cream or oil you can use to soothe your scalp? Maybe baby shampoo or something very mild? I hope it passes quickly.

  3. Sorry, Anne, no egg custard or milk toast. I remember both from childhood and didn’t like them then – same goes for rice pudding and semolina pudding. I grew up eating bland food – my mom cooked all the goodness out of everything – and once I discovered spices, there was no going back. I’ll just have to tone down the spices quite a bit.

  4. The scalp soreness is associated with the hair loss. I use a very mild shampoo that’s organic, so there are no chemicals in it. I don’t think anything is going to help the soreness until it just goes away by itself.

  5. Having chemo is really not a walk in the park. Four years ago, I had mine, luckily though, my hair didn’t pull off. Chemo drugs for colon cancer don’t have that side effect. Eat plenty of fruits that are high in anti-oxidants.

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

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