Tuesday, September 28, 2004
It’s Getting Hot in Here….
At some point I may have to close my door and work topless (remember now, I’m talking about my hat!). The hot flashes are frequent and, well, hot. I might appreciate them if I lived in a cold climate, but they just add way too much warmth to the already warm Southern California climate. Although I think I could the thermostat down to 60 and still feel them!

One side effect that has gotten worse with each treatment is the dryness of my eyes. By the fifth day after treatment it is very noticeable and even painful. You know those comical hats that look like a hard hat with two can holders and a straw that comes down to your mouth (as seen on TV – they aren’t part of my hat wardrobe I swear). I thought about rigging up something similar that would hold eyes drops with a dropper that goes directly to my eye. But even that didn’t seem like it would be enough.

My oncologist recommended I see an ophthalmologist to be sure there was no permanent damage being done to my eyes. Luckily, I found out that my eyes are very healthy, but they are indeed very dry. The doctor assured me that this is very normal with chemo as the drugs prohibit you from producing enough natural tears. She inserted temporary plugs into my tear ducts in an effort to hold the moisture in my eyes longer. The eyes will still drain, just not as quickly. I must agree. The moisture drops I use seem to stay in and sooth my eyes and I already feel better.

The aches and pains are subsiding as well and I am slowly turning that corner. It is amazing how differently my body reacted to the two different treatments. While it wasn’t pleasant, I will say that I know I can get through the next three. It is easier to deal with anything if you aren’t nauseous. Thanks for all the encouragement, support, and happy thoughts. Even through everything, I do know that I am truly blessed.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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