More surprises


So I was ready for the problems of chemotherapy and wasn’t too set back by surgery. Radiation has been okay so far. But, my, has shingles been a surprise!

Now, the drugs worked well and I’m getting used to the sheer exhaustion. Fortunately, last week was finals. I really thought if I worked hard, I could still get stuff done. Turns out, I was wrong. It took me 4 days to grade a final that normally would have been done the same day I gave it. It took almost forever to write my second final and on proofreading it at home before giving it, I discovered major problems. The only way it got given at the right time was that Penny, the departmental secretary, printed and handed it out for me. (Thank you so much again Penny!)

But I was just sitting and not grading tonight and, all of a sudden, the rash (which had been clearing up nicely, I thought) started to tingle. It started at the front of my right thigh and in seconds had begun to burn. Then, maybe within 15 seconds from the onset, sharp pain set in and it followed the rash line around my hip to my back. I’m not really sure what happened next because I was screaming. Charlie tried to get me to stand, but I was too busy being in agony. Maybe this is what it feels like to pour acid on your leg and have it drip around to the back, but I’m not going to pour acid on my leg to find out.

Charlie ran to get pain pills and helped me stand up and it seemed to disappear. Not quite as quick as it came, but awfully fast. I think I may be learning what postherpetic neuralgia is. (Hey, I can even pronounce it!)

So, cancer treatment isn’t that bad. At least not when compared to shingles. Almost makes you wonder if my team of doctors somehow decided to infect me with shingles so I’d appreciate what a good job they were doing.

But, ya know, I knew what a good job they were doing. So, that’s probably not it.


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