With that said, you’re still reading this article because either you or a loved one may have been recently diagnosed with cancer. First, I want to send you a virtual hug and let you know the road ahead is filled with many bumps and twists, but with a strong army of family, friends, treatments and caring doctors, the journey is manageable.
The following side effects of chemotherapy and surprises about radiation aren’t meant to scare you, but rather inform you of the details your oncologist may forget to mention. Every bit of information makes the battle easier. Knowledge is powerful.
Numbness and tingling are normal, and don’t be alarmed if you can’t walk because of these symptoms.
Neuropathy is defined as damage to the nerves from some chemotherapy drugs. This nerve damage is usually first noticed in the finger tips, then spreads to the toes, palms and soles of the feet. If chemotherapy treatments continue, the damage can spread to the legs making it nearly impossible to walk. We were told it is common for the last few treatments of some chemotherapy drugs to be canceled due to severe neuropathy.
Cancer patients with diabetes, alcoholism or sever malnutrition are at the highest risks for neuropathy. People who have had chemotherapy treatments in the past are also at a high risk for neuropathy during subsequent chemotherapy cycles.
You may be getting your first tattoo thanks to cancer.
If you’ve never thought of getting a tattoo, it’s time to think again. Along with accepting radiation treatments, cancer patients also have to accept getting tattooed. Rest assured the oncologist hasn’t ordered a full sleeve of skulls wrapped in roses. A few simple mole-type dots of ink will be tattooed into the skin to aid the radiologist in the treatments. The tattoos serve as guide when being positioning for radiation treatments.
What the oncologist won’t say about the tattoos are they become daily reminders of the cancer experience. After radiation treatments are complete, consider having new tattoos cover these reminders. A simple flower, heart or four-leaf clover is a happy reminder of the lack-of-need for the tattooed radiation markers.