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The Big Four

Because they are the bane of my existence and a constant reminder that I’m a “lucky” cancer patient, I’ve written about them several times before. However, I finally concocted a name for these assholes because they tend to act together in unison like an organized gang of thugs: “The Big Four”.

  • Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) in both of my feet
  • Numbness up and down my right leg
  • Ringing throughout my whole head (not just tinnitus in my ears)
  • Lightheadedness (not quite dizziness)

I should really be calling them “The Big Four And A Half“, with the “HALF” part being a sensitivity to temperature, spiciness, and “contact with crunchy food” inside my mouth.

For the most part, the aggregate foursome tends to randomly get worse or get better all at once. At worst, which seems to be happening more and more, I can’t leave my house for several consecutive days. I am held hostage by the emperor’s evil soldiers. At best, I can leave the house alone but I have to be very cautious and acutely aware of my walking and driving acumen so as not to fall or trigger a car accident.

My theory once again (which no doctor has yet refuted) is that the swelling in my brain ebbs and flows as a side effect of my periodic Opdivo immunotherapy infusions and the swelling triggers the flareups.

Since I’ve been on/off them many times over the last three years, I know that steroids definitely decrease the frequency of brain inflammation, and hence, the flareups. Thus, due to the latest flareup I’m back on low dose steroids (2 mg decadron per day) for the umpteenth time. I hope to wean off them again soon because the fewer drugs in my system the better. Except for cannabinoids of course 🙂

Sometimes the foursome doesn’t act in unison, particularly the PN in my feet. It will flareup independently of, and more often than, the other three jerkfaces. I’ll often successfully mitigate the pain and discomfort with a good topical cream (Australian Dream) and either a brownie “one hitter” or a generous dose of cannabis tincture.

Categories: Cancer
  1. September 6, 2019 at 12:38 am

    In 2011,The UK House of Lords completed an inquiry into the financial crisis, and called for an Office of Fair Trading investigation into the dominance of the Big Four.

  1. December 17, 2019 at 12:52 pm

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