Penny’s Blog

The slightly bumpy road to Normal

Posted on: April 7, 2009

A week and a half past my last treatment, and no longer in pain!  The sores in my mouth are healing. I’m off the painkillers and can chew solid food.  My tastebuds will take longer to heal, I guess—I still can’t taste Sweet or Salty.  Eating “treat” foods like cake or french fries is disappointing… they taste like cardboard.  (I keep trying to make them taste good, through sheer force of will, or by recalling how they’re supposed to taste, but that hasn’t worked so far.)  I can, however, taste Tangy and Spicy to some extent.

The other lingering effect of radiation is that my chin and jaw are red, dry, and peeling, as if sunburned.  Even years from now, this part of my face may continue to be hypersensitive to the sun.  A cancer survivor told me that “Radiation therapy is the gift that keeps on giving,” and I see what she means.

On the plus (?) side, I’m getting furrier.  The fine blonde fuzz continues to grow on previously-bare areas:  scalp, armpits, face…

I’m still more tired than I’d expected to be at this point.  At Sole Sisters last week I walked near the back of the pack with another slow person… I may do that again tonight, and for the remainder of the program.  I may have to modify my original goal—to run part of the race in June—and aim instead just to finish the entire course, possibly at a slow walk.

My impatient side believes, expects, that I should be hopping back up to normal energy levels by now.  My body has other ideas.  As during chemo, the body wins out, and forces me to lower my expectations.  Maybe I’ll embroider “All in good time…” on a pillow (or a punching bag).


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  • dswope: I just happened by after my I received an email from a close colegue that he was headig for IVPalooza. All I knew was that it was a form of chemo.
  • Brian: Hi Penny; When I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma I found your site. Reading about what you went through was incredibly helpful to me. Tha
  • Tricia: Still here; still caring; still rooting you on!


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