After being cut open, having half of my large bowel removed, having objects inserted under my skin and constantly being pumped full of all kinds of nasty chemicals, I often wonder…..will I ever be “normal” again.
The bowel surgery has left me with a large scar down the centre of my abdomen. The scar itself doesn’t really bother me too much, it’s more the skin around the scar. Some of the skin is still numb and there is no telling whether the feeling will come back at all. This is not a huge issue, but it’s a little disconcerting when I feel my abdomen and can’t feel my own touch. Inside my abdomen I can still feel where my large bowel was “reconnected”. It often gets sensitive and a little painful as food moved past it. Still, this is not of great concern. What bothers me the most is the fact that I can no longer eat corn. I LOVE corn!! Corn kernels, chicken and corn soup, corn on the cob. One bowl of chicken and corn soup has me running to the toilet for the next 24 hours. Totally shattered!!
In order to administer the chemotherapy drugs more effectively, a device called a port was installed into my chest. I don’t think there is any long term effects of this port once it is removed, but whilst it’s in my chest I feel a little less human. If I run my fingers over the location that it’s installed, I cannot only feel the port, but also all the tubing. I can even feel the point in which the tube enters a vein at the base of my neck. It’s like a scab that you can’t stop picking, I find myself always touching it. Sometimes I think that I can feel the port moving around in my chest, especially at night whilst going to sleep. Of course, it’s not moving, it’s all in my head.
Since my first chemo cycle I have been experiencing peripheral neuropathy. It’s basically tingling, pain and numbness in my finger tips, lips and mouth when it’s cold. As I undergo more cycles, it gets worse and there is no guarantees that it will go away. Considering I live in a place that gets rather cold during winter, I can only hope this resolves itself once I finish chemo, if I finish chemo. I also find myself questioning every little ache and pain. What is it, what does it mean, is it the cancer spreading???
All of this, and whatever else it to come, leaves me wondering what permanent damage has been done and what will resolve itself in due time.