Last week was tough. A few days after my last post, I developed a blistering, peeling, painful rash over the weekend. Since I am not allowed to go to Emergency Rooms due to my low immunity, my hospital offers an oncologist on-call who is able to give you advice on what to do in case of an emergency after hours (very cool service, btw). By sending him a few a pictures, he diagnosed me with shingles, a not uncommon side effect of chemotherapy, but made extra complicated because of several factors. Shingles is very contagious and mine was located on my face, a place that is difficult to keep covered and away from prying little hands. The doctor also told me that my children had already been exposed. While my 5 year old has been vaccinated, my 14 moth-old was not old enough yet to get his vaccine. Ryan has had chicken pox but was still at risk of developing shingles as well. Pox-baby, cancer-wife, Ryan-with-shingles AND March Break? Sounds like my idea of a good time! I haven’t even talked about what my face looked like! Let’s just say being bald was the LEAST of my problems. It looked like a fungus had invaded the entire skin around my mouth. I am definitely not brave enough to post a picture of THAT. On top of all that, because shingles is a viral infection, my chemo for the Monday was also cancelled, putting me back a week with my treatments.
All that news was a bummer. I’m not going to lie. But things got better. After four very long days with no treatment for my face (which was on fire, let me tell you!), my oncologist got me an emergency appointment with a dermatologist who said it was NOT shingles! Apparently some people are prone to getting skin infections while undergoing treatment and that this is a sign that the chemo is working well?! Yay?! Listen, I was just happy that there was no pox-baby to deal with! So with that good news, I took my extra week with no treatment, where I had a bit more of an appetite and a decent amount of immunity, as a little mini-vacation. I took Maddie out for a few activities, went out for dinner with Ryan, went out for lunch with family, saw some friends and tried to make the best of it. Face fungus and all. 🙂
PS: A HUGE thank you to the amazing Karl Lagerfeld, esquire for this blog reboot. Doesn’t it look so much better?