From June 2020, I went through a little more than 7 months of hardcore chemotherapy followed by a mastectomy in February 2021 (no radiation). It was extremely hard on me, in all sorts of ways I didn’t know anything about and didn’t expect.

Even though I’m still recovering from the chemo and surgery, I am getting better and I am glad that I went through these treatments. If I hadn’t, I would very likely be dead right now instead of writing this. So I’m thankful.

But there are actually some positive side effects of chemotherapy, so I thought I’d share that.

My Hair Is Curly!

I always wanted curly hair. Before all of this, my hair was stick straight. As a kid, it was healthier (of course), and so it was also very shiny. I could do next to nothing with it.

The chemo made all my hair fall out, but when it grew back, it grew back curly. Also white around the front, like a tiara.

Several people have asked me about this and it’s true: chemo made all my hair fall out. I didn’t have to shave my body and that was definitely an upside. Honestly, I was so sick from the chemo, I couldn’t have shaved during that time. As soon as the chemo stopped, all my body hairs returned. Meh.

I know there’s a possibility that my newfound curls will grow out. My friend Anja, a fellow breast cancer survivor, also had curls from the chemo. But to see her now, with shiny straight blonde hair, you’d never know this gal was ever sick. It’s really amazing. But I hope I’ll be able to keep my curls because I’m loving this.

No Bug Bites and Stings!

Normally, if I ever went outside for a picnic or even just a walk in the park, I would get stung and bitten by whatever was buzzing around me. Barricade me with other people as diverting bait, and I would still be the only one who got stung. Bugs would just zoom in on me. I always had infamously sweet blood.

Not anymore! Chemotherapy has soured my blood and now bugs leave me alone. I am seriously joyous about this and while I’m working hard to regain my health (in fact, I’m working to become healthier than I ever was before) I really hope my blood remains unappetizing.

No Cold Sores!

For several decades now, I’ve suffered from cold sores when I get too stressed out. The chemo treatments are stressful, no kidding, so I was worried that my lip was going to explode.

But the chemotherapy kills new cells and so for the entire stretch of cancer treatment the one kind of pain I didn’t have to endure was a cold sore.

In fact for those seven months or so I didn’t even feel the slightest twinge of a cold sore coming. It was terrific.

That’s it.

Everything else about chemotherapy stinks. Unless you’ve gone through it, you really cannot imagine how wretched it is. But as I say, I’m thankful for all of it, because it saved my patootie.