My body has been indecisive with chemo. Common symptoms? Unclear. Each treatment seems to have a different onset of twists and turns for my body and mind.
Becoming furious with my face- a blazing red replication of a sunburn painted with white itchy bumps- the discomfort had me looking for a solution. My first and unimpressive visit to a dermatologist back in high school convinced me to leave it up to my dad this time to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist he liked in Cheyenne.
Expecting a slew of topical creams and medications- I was surprised by an energetic lady who wanted me to start Accutane instead. On top of everything else my body is ingesting, adding a notoriously harsh medication was not the news I wanted to hear.
With further explanation and consent from my oncologist to go forward, I again let the medical professionals make the best decision for me. Concerned about scarring and continued discomfort- I figure being simultaneously cured of cancer and acne over the next few months couldn’t be the worst thing for me. The visit had more loops in store.
After shaving my head, my loved ones noticed a mole on my scalp that had been previously covered with hair. Making this appointment a true one-stop shop, my dad pointed it out to the dermatologist. A few minutes later I was laying on my side with a shot of lidocaine to the scalp. Feeling a bit woozy, blood filled the hole of what used to be my pre-cancerous mole. A side-effect of chemo is secondary cancer, meaning I need to be extremely cautious in the sun. Living in Northern Colorado, no hair on my head, and a mole that could become a significant issue at anytime was all the convincing I needed to give consent for the removal.
The hassle since, keeping it clean and clear, is needed as I cannot afford to take chances with an infection. My last labs had my care team especially worried about my ability to fight off anything. As always, there is a silver lining- the chemo is working if my immune system is this compromised. Only time will tell if my treatment is fully effective in curing my Hodgkin’s but there are some good indicators the cancer is clearing up.