Three down, five to go in my initial course of treatment.
I had my third set of infusions yesterday, and, after hearing about it, I’m finally experiencing oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy. I know most of you are asking yourself, what’s oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy? Is it a real thing or just something Matt’s trying to get me to say five times fast in my head without messing it up?
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers; A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked and what the fuck is oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy?
“Neurotoxicity is the most frequent dose-limiting toxicity of oxaliplatin. Acute sensory neurotoxicity manifests as rapid onset of cold-induced distal dysesthesia and/or paresthesia, sometimes accompanied by cold-dependent muscular contractions of the extremities or the jaw.”
So basically, it’s this crazy weird feeling in my extremities after getting my infusion of Oxaliplatin. I’d experienced it in a very minor way after my first two treatments, mostly as a little tickle in the back of my throat with cooler water or food. But tonight I got the real deal dose.
I grabbed a plate out of the fridge and was immediately struck with a crazy pins/needles/electric shock sensation all throughout my hands. I thought, ok, the doctor and nurses told me about this, that I might need gloves to get stuff out the fridge. Noted.
A bit later, I was sitting in my living room and noticed I was getting the sensation again in my hands and feet – and I’ll reiterate – this is a really shitty sensation. It’s not just the pins/needles of your arm or leg falling asleep – that electric shock factor is freaky. So I’m like, what the fuck is going on? And then I realized, the air conditioner is fucking with me. Yes, the AC is causing me pain. Awesome.
The good thing is that I now know what to expect and that I need to manage it – luckily it apparently only lasts the first few days after the infusion. I need gloves to get stuff out of the fridge. I’ll need to manage needing the AC on to deal with these hot Colorado summer days with not being in pain from having the AC on. No cold drinks. In colder weather, I’ll need a scarf wrapped around my nose/mouth to prevent throat/lung spasms. Ok. This is all doable and now is a part of my job fighting this shitty disease and keeping on keeping on.