By: Jamelle Singleton
In my opinion, chemotherapy was the most difficult part of this entire process. It was a very fierce physical and mental battle and I still feel the effects from it today. I was given 6 treatments of TCHP every 3 weeks. TCHP stands for, Taxotere-Carboplatin-Herceptin-Perjeta.
The infusions lasted about 4 to 5 hours, and due to Covid, I had to go to all but one treatment by myself. During the actual treatments, I didnt feel anything. It wasn’t until the 3rd day that it really started to set it. It felt like there was poison in my body, and that’s because there was. Chemotherapy is made to kill all of the cells in your body, the good and the bad, it doesn’t discriminate.
I had side effects like blurry vision, brain fog, upset stomach, bone pain, sores in my mouth, dry mouth, loss of taste, acne, dry skin, fatigue and hair loss. 14 days after my first chemo treatment, my hair started to fall out. After my second chemo I cut it short. Then the shedding of my hair was starting to get painful so I had my husband shave it all off.
As my treatments went on, other side effects developed. My fingernails turned black. I developed neuropathy in my legs and fingers which caused my legs to burn and my fingertips to go numb. I lost my appetite due to a constant upset stomach and loss of taste. It would take about 2 weeks for me to recover and then a week later, I had to do it all over again.
On the days that I didn’t feel good, I had some very dark moments. There were days where I wanted to quit chemo and wondered if I’d ever feel normal again. But my family and friends’ love and support helped me get through those times. Having a support system and maintaining a positive attitude were single-handedly the most important things that helped me get through it. Without those things, my story would be very different. So my message here today is to always have faith in yourself and keep going! And I will leave you all with the 3 phrases that my dad always says to me. Stay strong, stay confident, stay beautiful!