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Coffee Club and Side Effects


Side effects? If side effects were a marathon I’d be Sir Mo Farah!

Side effects, very topical. It goes a bit like this. “I've had my jab" to which the accepted response is something like “any side effects?” It’s almost as predictable as the ubiquitous Cornish greeting.....

“Alright? “ “Yea, you?” “Yea"


Side effects are the necessary bad in the quest for the desirable good. Collectively our desirable good is to get back to some kind of normal, with covid somewhat under control. Side effects? A piffling inconvenience.


I had my first jab just over 7 weeks ago. Side effects?........ none!


I’ve become a bit of a side effect aficionado (now there’s a surprise). It’s due to the fact that the main cancer treatment I’m receiving is Oxaliplatin which provides me with a seemingly endless source of topical side effect conversation starters.

Oxaliplatin is the cancer medication used to treat my and many other people's colorectal cancer. For the poor buggers with advanced cancer its often used with fluorouracil and folinic acid. That’s me and I get the lot. As I’ve been saying all medication can have side effects. Here’s a list of some of the most exciting ones for my particular cocktail;

Diarrhoea,

Constipation,

Coughing,

Wheezing,

Frequent visits to the loo,

Changes in taste,

Mouth sores,

Nosebleeds,

Hair loss,

Tiredness,

Headache,

Dizziness,

Impaired vision,

Trouble sleeping,

Nausea and vomiting,

Sensitivity to cold (cold dysesthesia),

Numb or tingling hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy),

Loss of dexterity.


Obviously people are as different as are their side effects. Some side effects are continuous some are temporary; some are mild some are severe but no-one gets away lightly. I haven’t got away lightly.

I thought I’d share with you my own list of side effects. Luckily I don’t have them all but, typically, I have some extras.

Here’s my list;



Constipation,

Coughing,

Wheezing,

Frequent visits to the loo,

Changes in taste,

Nosebleeds,

Tiredness,

Headache,

Dizziness,

Impaired vision,

Trouble sleeping,

Nausea,

Sensitivity to cold (cold dysesthesia),

Numb or tingling hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy),

Loss of dexterity,

Becoming a side effect aficionado,

Being a grumpy old bastard (sometimes).

Oh! I’ve also got tinnitus (a permanent side effect from my first chemotherapy in 2018).


Meantime this level of chemotherapy has a detrimental effect on my internal goings on but that’s another list, for another time.


At the moment most of my side effects are relatively mild but as the treatment progresses the severity of the side effects will increase. Eventually the side effects may overwhelm the benefits of the treatment.


But It’s all about maintaining the best quality of life as possible and for me that’s living a bit longer.


Every fortnight I discuss my treatment with my consultant or one of the team. It’s interesting how different they can be. One's a little bit glass half full and one's a little bit glass half empty. With one I talk about how bad my side effects are. With one I discuss how well I’m coping with my side effects. Both glean the information they need to ensure my treatment is accurately tailored to meet my peculiar requirements but they get there in slightly different ways. One will hope I can cope with and book 6 sessions of treatment. One will book the next session and see how it goes. Perhaps that's the best policy because some of my side effects are now beginning to get more challenging, even as I write my feet feel like I’ve run a marathon, (or what I imagine they would feel like) they’re now constantly a little bit painful. My tingling hands are occasionally becoming uncomfortable and beginning to lose their dexterity which I’ve been warned may be permanent and will only get worse.



But whatever side effects I have to put up with I still keep me eye on the prize.

The prize of time.

However not all side effects are bad. Amongst other things I've made some great cakes and eaten almost all of them, I get to write this blog which I properly enjoy and I’ve increased my super sock stock.

This is where I insert the link for Fanfare for the Common Man. https://youtu.be/c2zurZig4L8


But better than any of those I’ve instigated the now new and improved Tuesday Morning Coffee Club where the link is now always the same.

See you Tuesday.


Here’s the new information.

Topic: Tuesday Morning Coffee Club

Time: This is a recurring meeting at 10am on Tuesdays.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/76384596404?pwd=U0wremo5NmViNWFhdFQ5VU45QkQ0dz09

Meeting ID: 763 8459 6404

Passcode: kKU0US


P.S. I’ll give the new and improved Tuesday Morning Coffee Club a test run for a few minutes at 10am this morning (Saturday). See you then maybe.

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