In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion

Hey everyone!  The title of this post does not reference March weather, but rather is my description of my chemotherapy side-effects.  My first round of chemo was not nearly as bad on my body as my Oncologist predicted.....truly as gentle as a lamb, for the most part.  My second round, however, came roaring in like a lion and has "sucker-punched" me a number of times.  I've never thought of myself as a "Rebel," but it seems that my body has decided to try out most all of the side-effects of my current chemo drug.....no matter how remotely or rare they typically are!  Here are a few that little "rebellious" me has given a whirl:

  1. hair loss, and we are not just talking about the noggin 
  2. blurred vision and watery eyes.....no lashes to catch the moisture
  3. neuropathy in finger tips....think numbness & pain when confronted with zippers, buttons or pretty much anything that requires the use of two fingers pressed together
  4. cough or hoarseness 
  5. sore throat 
  6. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position...."I've fallen & I can't get up" is to be avoided
  7. feeling of warmth...not too unlike the joys of menopause
  8. redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest....again, not unlike menopause
  9. emotions on constant alert with tears "at-the-ready"
  10. skin rash and itching 
  11. ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  12. annihilation of tastebuds leaving only 2 choices: salty or metallic 
  13. senses of smell and touch are in overdrive.....trying to make up for "taste"
  14. unsteadiness or awkwardness.....kind of like the old toy "Weebles"
  15. unusual tiredness or weakness
  16. weight gain....kind of adds insult to injury

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining....well, okay, maybe a little!  I just want you to know that the photos I post each week are me putting my "best foot forward."  It's also me on the day I typically feel my best.  The chemo drugs from the previous week have dispersed through my system enough that I feel as close to normal as I possibly can, and that small window of "feeling good" is what gives me the strength and encouragement to deal with the rest of the week.

I also must confess that putting this smiling face out there on IG & FB each week is a very selfish & vane action on my part.  I LOVE the very kind and encouraging words that all of you send me.  Your sweet words are nourishment for my soul; and at a time when I find it very difficult to feel pretty, your sweet words nourish my vanity.

With all of the above being said, I continue to feel so very blessed.  I know I have it so much easier than many who are fighting this cancer battle.  I only have 2 MORE CHEMOS to go, and then it will be onto the next two phases of my treatment -- surgery and radiation.  I already have consultation appointments set up with my surgeon and the radiologist on January 4th....starting "2016" on a fast-track!  My sweet hubby and I are very anxious to have our comfortable and "boring" lives back.  And speaking of this sweet hubby of mine, he makes me feel so grateful and loved each and every day.  He has taken on the full  responsibility of running our home and caring for me.  I cannot imagine dealing with this illness without him, but I know there are many who don't have a choice.  Again I feel humbled and blessed to have The Man, our children and grandchildren, extended family, and a wealth of friends who continue to offer positive support.  You are all my "cheerleaders," and I love and appreciate you so much.

Now, go forth and have "Christmas-fun!"

Warm hugs,


  1. Oh Carol, I am sending prayers your way!!
    Julie xo

  2. Oh honey, thank you so much for sharing your life as is at the moment with us. I know soon you will just remember this because I also know you're beating this battle with your best face forward, as you yourself acknowledge. You are such an inspiration to all of us.
    Prayers are always going your way, God is good!
    Thank you so much for taking the time for the sweet comment about baby Maxima. We are so thrilled for our DD Alexandra, since this is her first child. We'll miss them three this C'mas.
    Hugs and see you on FB too.

  3. Well nuts...I was hoping you wouldn't get most of those side effects. Still sending up prayers for you daily. I know I've said it before, but you are so lucky to have that man by your side! xoxo

  4. I think it's ok to complain a little! If I didn't know that you were fighting this battle I'd never know you were sick. You look fabulous! I know you're ready for this to be over. I've been thinking about a lot lately because I've had 2 friends over the last 6 weeks have mastectomy's. I hate this awful disease. Sending lots of prayers your way.

  5. You certainly do put your best foot forward, I would never have guessed that you have been dealing with so many unpleasant effects. I still think that you are a pillar of strength and positivity! And you look gorgeous! :) I wish you nothing but the merriest of Christmases, Carol and a wonderful, healthy, boring and routine majority of 2016. xoxo

    1. Ditto what Kim said X2!
      You are a beautiful person inside and out, and such an inspiration to all of us! Continued prayers for you and your hubby!

  6. Your blog caught my eye while I was scrolling. I'm not always great about keeping up with those I follow and obviously I have let you down. Didn't really what you were going through but can tell by that smile that you are a fighter. Fight with all your might. That attitude I'm sure is pulling you through. I love your hair! It's beautiful, real or not, it's yours! You are beautiful!

  7. You are a brave, beautiful, and inspirational lady Carol! It's OK to "complain" a little now and then. I cannot imagine how difficult this journey must be. You are doing so great though and it will all be behind you soon and you can have that normal and boring life back. Keep that sweet and positive spirit.

    Hugs and Prayers,

  8. I am so encouraged by your honesty, Carol! You 'shine' Jesus, even while you battle this beast! You are daily in my prayers! Believing Christmas will be a special time of sweet phone calls and laughter! Blessings, Cindy xoxo

  9. Carol, you are such a trooper! Continuing to pray for you as you continue this journey! And how wonderful that you have such a great support system and caretaker! ~Merry Christmas! Rhonda

  10. Carol, although I am sorry to hear of all of these nasty side effects, I have to say, your attitude is phenomenal...and you are still so adorable. I agree...you ARE a trooper!

  11. Carol, I know how bad the side effects of chemo can be and I applaud your attitude, Even though it may be hard, keep up the positive attitude. I have seen it make such a difference on patients and I do believe it is also a healing force!!Sending prayers your way!!

    Many Hugs,

  12. Oh Carol, I can't even begin to tell you what a hero you are in my eyes. I honestly don't how exactly I would deal with it until in it, and I can only hope I would feel the grace to still say I felt blessed, given your circumstances. Your list of chemo effects is as real as one can get in describing it. Why, oh why, do they not let individuals like you, as eloquent in describing it all, be on the legit websites such as Mayo? It's best to keep it real, and certainly admirable to still want to keep your best foot forward when you IG and FB. WHat a positive attitude! Blessings and hope for you and your team of caretakers for a cancer-free 2016. Merry Christmas.

  13. Dear Carol,

    Thank you for your updates; I love seeing your pretty face and beaming smile! You are such a strong and courageous woman, full of positive energy, immense patience and powerful belief! I'm so sorry, though, to hear about all those horrible side effects, but you'd never know it from your lovely pics.

    On a happier note, I'm very grateful for your sweet and caring husband; you are lucky and blessed to have him by your side, and the support and comfort of your family and friends. I continue to pray for your well-being, my friend and I hope this challenge comes to an end very soon.

    Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

    Warm hugs,

  14. I have to say Carol that I truly admire your positivity. It is inspiring. I am sure you have your "down days" which are to be expected. I read that those cancer patients who have a positive outlook have a much higher chance of recovery and I am sure that 2016 will be a wonderful year of restored health for you. I shall keep you in my prayers and appreciate your update. May this week be Merry and Bright for you.

  15. Hope all is calm and bright for you this week. Merry Christmas!

  16. I should be ashamed for not checking on you more often, but you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope all is improving with you, and that this is the absolute Merriest Christmas ever for you and your loved ones. Give that precious hubby a hug from us.

  17. Carol I hope this week finds you feeling strong and well. You are probably one of the most positive people I know! Keep up the fight and I have to say how beautiful you are in all of your pictures! XOXO


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