As a cancer patient receiving chemo treatment, the medical professionals advise you of all the side effects that you may experience. As I started my chemo treatments, I thought I was mentally and physically prepared for the infinity array of possibilities of how I might feel. Wrong, the reality was very different, I was not at all ready for the horrible side effects that I endured from chemo. The worst part is that as an inexperienced person in regards to cancer, I did not realize that these side effects don’t only occur when you receive the treatment. They can occur at any time including the days after the actual treatment and the worst part is that you never don’t know what will trigger you to experience some of the worst side effects you have ever experienced. For example, the artificial light from the light bulb or the tv or the natural light gleaming in through the window caused for me to start to experience a sense of loss of vision. I had never in my life experienced this side effect before therefore, I went into a state of shock and panic at that moment because I thought I was going blind. Unfortunately, I experienced shock and panic more than once in my cancer journey due to the severity of each side effect. This happened to me more than once because every time, I thought I knew how my body would react to chemo, some new or unexpected side effect would occur.
In order to prepare my dad for the different possibilities of chemo side effects, I shared this information with him which has helped him to a certain extend. I say this because one day, he was doing some work outside while the sun was beaming full blast causing higher temperatures in the area. Due to being out in the sun, without sun screen, long-sleeve shirt, cap and plenty of water like I had recommended, he started to feel sick, dizzy and tired. He recalled what I told him about the sun affecting you differently after receiving chemo treatments than beforehand so he went inside, cooled down, drank plenty of water and rested. Thankfully, his symptoms started to subside and he started feeling better. He told me he couldn’t believe that he started feeling that way and told me, he now understood what I meant about the possibility of side effects even after the chemo treatment. So far, my dad has tolerated the chemo well during his days of treatment, for him, it has been the days after the treatment that cause him to experience the mild side effects. Of course, there are vast differences between my chemo treatment and his. My chemo treatment was very aggressive and so were the side effects. His chemo treatment is mild and so are his side effects. One of the major differences of side effects between us is that I experience loss appetite due to loss of taste and extreme nausea. On the other hand, he said that one of his most recent side effects is having food cravings so that made him happy.