Saturday, September 6, 2014

Neuropathy, Not My Favorite Chemo Side Affect

I almost killed a girl for her Starbucks iced coffee this morning.  I wish I could say I was exaggerating or simply being dramatic but the truth is that a young nurse passed me on the sidewalk with Iced coffee and that infuriating green straw and for the next 2 blocks, I pictured myself pushing her off the curb and into the path of an oncoming cab,  as I ran off with that iced coffee.

Truth be told, her life was never actually in danger.  It was 6am on a Saturday morning and I was walking through the University of Pennsylvania Campus, which means it was really just me and an occasional nurse or resident rushing to the hospital to be early for their 7am shift, no cab in sight.
Slow Walk,  Post Chemo Selfie on The Quiet Streets Of West Philadelphia

Additionally,  I am beginning to feel the lingering effects of what is destined to be one of my least favorite chemo side effects,  neuropathy.

This means 2 things; my feet feel fat and dopey, like I am wearing Goofy’s (you know Mickey Mouses’ buddy) shoes.   I am walking slow and being lapped by geriatric post-op patients on my sisters hospital floor, in hopes that I do not trip and fall (and bleed out in a very dramatic way via a stubbed toe and a month of blood thinners).

 It also means that even if I did push my little nurse friend into traffic and grab her ice coffee, I would probably drop it when my hand made contact with that cold sweating cup and started to tingle.  Or assuming that I was wearing gloves (on this lovely 80 degree morning),  as I lifted that bright green straw to my lips and sucked down that first sip of Starbucks yum yum, my throat would fill with that pins and needles feeling.  You know, that feeling when you are sitting in one position too long, realize your leg is asleep and you go to move, and freeze as that pins and needles feeling overtakes your limb, waiting to move until your blood gets back to moving as it should.  Yea, that feeling…in my throat. Good flippity flippin times for all!

So you see our little friend was safe the whole time.  I am waiting for my lips to regain full feeling before I dump anything cold into my gullet, so yes, I would love some soup and room temperature water on this Indian summer afternoon.  FYI…I am part American Indian, so I can still say Indian Summer…also I feel the same way about the PC police as I do my little nurse friend who obviously ordered Venti Iced coffee just to tease and anger a slow moving cancer patient.  So please save any comments for a non-cancer patient that is free to spend her afternoon, in her favorite city, knocking back an ice cold margarita instead of misdirecting her anger and frustration with her latest chemo side effects towards an innocent nurse on her way to quite possibly help someone just like me,  very early in the morning.

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