side effects

Last Monday was my first check in at Dana Farber since I started a new medicine routine four weeks earlier. The new drugs are (1) Everolimus (an mTOR inhibitor) which is meant to ‘enhance’ (2) Tamoxifen, the second drug. I’ve taken Tamoxifen before, and in my mind it sooooo did NOT do the job. It was my daily medicine for six years after the first cancer, and it was supposed to keep me from having a recurrence. Oy! Nonetheless, it is again in my morning pill organizer … … … responses to drugs can change, plus paired with an enhancer it is different.  

For the Monday appointment I arrived with a written list of my new side effects: high blood sugar levels, mouth sores, red blotches on my face (yes aka acne), change in sense of taste (food that is, not style), depression, no tolerance for alcohol, abdominal discomfort, loss of hearing, and urgency to pee. EACH ONE of these side effects was difficult – combined, they made me feel feeble and geriatric. The last one, the urgency to pee, was particularly distressing. We’ve all seen the TV commercials about urgency to pee and incontinence, but no, no, no, no, no … not me. Really??? This was bad.

But I had to resign myself to this new stage of life. I bought a package of depends.

So on  Monday I recited my list of side effects, wearing my inaugural adult diaper under my jeans, and Jen listened. When I got to the end she said, that one doesn’t sound like a side effect, maybe you’ve got a UTI. But I don’t have any pain. Ya don’t always have pain with a UTI, she said, and ordered a urine culture. Two days later, UTI confirmed! Woo hoo! I took the prescribed antibiotics for three days and, voila! No more pee scares! WOO HOO!

Oh!  the simple joy of a UTI. 
And oh!  the simple joy of stowing away my adult diapers in a far corner of my closet.

4 Replies to “side effects”

  1. OMG. You made me laugh so hard that I…well, never mind. (But if you got any adult diapers you’re not using…you keep making me laugh like that, and I, er, need them, No, I did not say peed them. But I might have to. I’m just going to not drink a lot of water – and iced tea – Iced tea is the WORST.)
    So glad you have not lost your most important taste. That would totally suck. Who would be my taste icon? I’d be totes screwed.

    Missing you. Happy New Year. XOXO

  2. I agree with Marie – your sense of humor is the best !!! And your clear appreciation for the hierarchy of life’s challenges. You are always an inspiration to me. Depends are, well yes, in many minds, the final indignity. Though I hear they are more and more used for all kinds of things as we age beyond the former norm. Hide them well. Or better yet give them away – but not sure where…

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