Wow, in just a couple of days the itching and pain in my hands have become very uncomfortable. In fact, yesterday my hands hurt so bad I took Vicodin just to fall asleep. When I talked to my doctor, she said I have carpal tunnel syndrome, probably as a result of the Taxol on the nerves combined with my recent job demands of lifting heavy stacks of paper and also practicing on the piano. I hadn’t thought about any of this causing me trouble because I’ve never had a problem before. Of course, I never had chemo, either, duh. Anyway, it’s like all the symptoms of the radiation are now in high swing. I’m taking Benadryl for the itching, also, so I can sleep. Between the shooting pains in my hands and arms and the itching, yesterday I was quite miserable. Today I did not wait to take the medicines, so I think the symptoms are more controlled. My hands are uncomfortable but tolerable as I’m taking ibuprofen regularly, which seems to help. My skin over my left breast and up to my neck looks burned now, and I apply aloe vera and some cortisone cream to the most sensitive places four or more times a day. I’m trying hard to keep the now very fragile skin from breaking. At times the itching drives me crazy, so, as instructed, I pat my breast, sometimes in a frenzy like a crazy woman. I try not to do this in public. Finally, too, I have taken Marvin’s advice and started to lie down to nap in the afternoon. At first, I fought it and would then fall asleep too early in the evening, awaking before bedtime only to be wide awake. Aargh. So now I’m sleeping in the afternoon, waking up around six o’clock, and then I’m able to stay away for the evening and go to bed at a normal hour.
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