Chemo is presented as having some unpleasant if usually manageable side effects, but the list is actually far longer and more insidious than the physical ones they tell you about. Not that those are trivial: counting pills and adjusting medications, weakened and sickened by poison, is a hell of a way to spend your last weeks on earth. Further, it is possible that the assault of the chemotherapy hastened Ed’s death. Certainly all the tumors but the original bladder tumor grew rapidly during treatment, and spread with vicious speed into organs that were still sound as a bell at the time of his diagnosis.
Setting those damages to one side, here are some other side effects that aren’t listed in the information sheets, and that no health care professional acknowledged, let alone tried to help us manage:
- Misdirected fear
- The trolley tracks of protocol
- Procrastination: the thief of time
I’ll take these one by one in the next posts.