The doctor, The Tango Man, has some interesting responses to my questions today:
(Oh shit, see i wrote nothing down but do remember)
* RED BUMPS:
The red bumps I got on my body since chemo, well, really only one and possibly three little ones on my leg, is a mole. He seemed unconcerned. Did not think it was a big deal either but will get my dermatologist to look at it in my annual check-up scheduled for later this year;
* THE SUN:
I do not need to hassle re going into the sun. Ja, for those who know me, this is a joke as I seldom venture outside, am covered in sunblock throughout all seasons and used to wear hats in the sun even when I had hair but people are driving me crazy saying I must not go into the sun cos of the chemo. Well, he said my treatment is not light-sensitive. I will get burnt if go into the sun but really I now know if go outside without a hat on for a short time it is not going to be a train smash;
* MUSCLE TONE:
Can still not believe that he said my lack of muscle tone is most unusual. I am not imagining it, I swear. He said unusual for my chemo and does not happen overnight. Now I know I went to gym regularly before but have also had times, eg when had inner ear infection last year and was super dizzy, where I was banned from gym for about a month and it did not affect my muscle tone, only my fitness, which was soon recovered. This is different. Within weeks of starting chemo noticed that my thighs were like jelly. Next wwas my upper arms. No muscles there anymore and even my neck a little. Now not for one minute pretending I was an athlete but... mmmm... unusual but it is there. Or not there really.
* EYEBROWS AND NAILS:
For the record, he did not comment on my disappearing eyebrows or my seemingly-about-to-split-in-half fingernails. Maybe when you have patients like the hunky looking man I overheard at the desk saying it was ok if his treatment was scheduled only for tomorrow and there had been an error with the dates, but could he get a prescription for a pain killer as the one he was using was not working and his teeth were falling out? And also, if I stop chemo soon ie if today's was the last, then those problems are likely to vanish although Joyce the nurse said my sore hands and veins could take months to go away......
* VOTING IN THE ELECTIONS:
It is South Africa's election day next week, smack bang in my immune-compromised time when I am not allowed to be near lots of people. He seemed shocked when I asked him what I could so. Shocked and surprised. I said I was asking him cos I ... ag, cannot remember what I said but persevered and he said I could try to go early or late when there are less people (lol, that's what everybody tried to do!)or else not vote but I want to vote. Think am going to ask a contact to help me and to arrange that when I arrive I go straight to the front so my time surrounded by masses of people is minimised.
* HOW LONG I HAVE HAD MY CANCER:
A friend (or was it friends) said I was crazy to want to ask this question as what difference did it make but I asked and was intrigued by the answer. Wanted to know: seeing I had had a mammogram and ultrasound scan and given the all-clear less than two months before I found a lump below my armpit, had I had cancer then already? He said I had had it for about six to nine months to about a year already. That it did not happen overnight. Which raises the question: was there negligence during those tests? One doctor I saw questioned the wording on the report as to whether or not the ultra-sound scan had been done below the armpit. Must admit that that time I had not been observant, hell, it was just a routine test. But would The Tango Man be sending me back to the same doctor for the test if he was not happy (although a doctor different to the main one had done the test that time and this time I have INSISTED I get the main oke). And does it matter? Still had cancer and would those two months have made a difference to the diagnosis and treatment?
Anyway, now waiting to do those tests again in three weeks's time, as I wrote about in my previous posting. Then maybe today's chemo was my last. Can only wait and see.