Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm Hungry All The Time & Freezing to Death.. But I have a Theory

I have a theory.  It's only MY theory, mind you.  I tested it out already and the nurse belly-laughed into the phone at me.  She really did.  So I know at this point, without asking, that no doctor is going to say, yeah, that's it.

Seven to 10 days after chemo,  resistance to infection begins its descent.  On day 10, you get to have a blood test to see where your blood levels are.  Day 10 you are at your lowest, resistance-wise, so staying away from sick people and crowds is stressed with much vigor.  I guess that's why the oncologist office sends you to the hospital to have your blood drawn.  No sick people or crowds there, right?  Anyway, after day 10, your resistance starts to build back.   
On day eight of the descent, which would have been last Friday, I started getting this hungry feeling that simply would not go away no matter what I ate or how often.  I drank tons of water and hot tea to try to fill the void.  Nothing worked.  Oh, and as a by-the-by, a big thank-you to Dr. Lynn and Margie Keener and their granddaughter Lily for saving the day (and my starving self) by bringing over a huge bag of Chinese take-out from Yin Ching in Ozark, MO.  It was unbelievable, all our favorites:  Yin Ching Soup, rice, Shrimp Chop Che, duck sauce, fortune cookies.  Their adorable granddaughter even sang Santa Claus is Coming to Town while we ate.  I have no idea what inspired that particular song, but as far as we are concerned, Lily can sing anything she wants to sing, and we'll be a rapt audience.  She's absolutely precious. 

 Dr. Lynn Keener and granddaughter Lily

Sunday I was famished, and yesterday I though I would collapse from hunger when Dwain and went to Little Rock.  We ate lunch at ZaZas, and I ate like a ravenous mad woman.  I would have eaten more if I had not held myself back so Dwain could have some lunch, too.  On the way back we drove through the drive-through at Starbucks and got a medium chai tea and a blueberry muffin to share.  At this point, Dwain was probably worried that if we'd gone inside Starbucks I might have gobbled up every cookie, muffin, or scone in the place .  And I'm telling you what, it was a good thing to worry about. 

Today (Tuesday) has been a wee bit better.  I was in the wanting-to-scarf-down-everything-in-site mode until about mid-afternoon when the ol' appetite sort of mellowed out.  It hasn't completely died, but has indeed mellowed.  

Right along with the famished stomach came the my body's big chill that seemed to build into a core cold that just would not warm up.  No matter what I did, I just could not completely get warm.  Saturday night I basically froze during my sleep.  Dwain found me the next morning buried somewhere in the bed with extra covers and my bathrobe piled over me and my head.  Didn't matter what I wore as everyday clothes, I had a coat and a hat on the livelong day.  Before we turned to sleep Sunday night, Dwain tried his darndest to warm me up (poor guy).  My hands were the coldest part of my body, hard to thaw, but he made headway.  And I think I slept better that night.  Monday I pretty much wore my coat all day, but I felt somewhat warmer.  Today I was so sick of feeling cold to my core that late this afternoon I finally decided to take a hot, hot bath.  I did not want to climb out of that tub; I could have slept in there, that hot water felt so good.  And I do mean, pure hot water.  I'm finally warm now.  

My theory, the one that the nurse and receptionist laughed at me for, was this;  I think there is something about your resistance going that low that makes one crave food; makes you supremely hungry.  Why shouldn't it?  Your body is trying its best to fight back, to build back its resistance.  I also believe that's why I got so very, very cold.  My resistance was low; white blood count at 2.4.  I mean, what else can your body do when it's fighting with everything it's got to resist sickness? 

If anyone else has experienced this sort of thing while going through chemo, I'd like to know about it and how you handled it.  I honestly would. 


  1. Mom, I have some serious news for you. You are nauseated; then you're tired; then you're hungry? I thnk you're pregnant! Ha ha! Okay, kidding. But have you looked into a heated blanket? Do they still make those? Just saying it might help?

  2. Megan, I do the very same thing, especially the appetite thing. My husband teases me about all my crazy cravings and huge appetite. I think I will be the only person in history that's going to gain weight on chemo, hahaha. My body has trouble regulating temperature too. I'll be freezing one minute and breaking out in a sweat the next, crazy. Jayme's idea about an electric blanket is good. You need to get one. I think your theory is brillant!!! Well, I have to run...... my stomach is grumbling, time to eat :)

  3. I never really thought about how much I sounded like a pregnant person. Hum... Crazy food cravings, wanting to eat all the time, temperature fluctuations. Oops, false pregnancy. HA! I'm not at all opposed to an electric blanket or as Dwain suggested, an electric mattress protector (if they still exist) or maybe both. -Megan-