Sunday, January 18, 2015

Update on life after chemo and maintenance: Itchy Rash!

Yep, chemo is done, maintenance therapy is done and I was feeling on top of the world.  Until 2 weeks ago:

I've been working hard, trying to lose weight (oh my gosh its so hard!), and now I have the worst dry skin ever.  Its funny, because I thought I had dry skin when I was on the ATRA or Tretinoid pills, but this is worse.  My face is so dry, I peel and flake all day.  It itches.  Its annoying.  Moisturize, Moisturize, and Sarna!  Plus, now my neck itches and has red marks on it.  I think I gave myself a rash.  The Sarna is starting to work a bit.  I've been dousing myself in Clinique moisturizers (two different ones) trying to soften and heal my skin. 

Well, I go to my primary tomorrow, hoping he will have an answer.  Part of me thinks its from my Zyrtec.  My skin and throat were very dry about two weeks ago, and I stopped taking my Zyrtec.  I thought I was overdoing it and maybe it was time to stop.  It has been almost 2 years of taking it off and on, and this last time I was on it over 2 months, every night I took one.  Zyrtec is an antihistamine, and it worked very well.  I took it at the advice of my oncologist when my nose wouldn't stop running after I came home from my induction chemotherapy (first round, the worst).  Zyrtec does make me sleepy, but you only take one a day, so I would take mine before bed.  Put me out like magic.  The only problem I thought was when I would stop taking it, I would wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time falling back asleep.  Of course, I still take naps during the day and sleep about 10 hours each night (8pm-6 am, roughly).

After the neck started itching a lot, I googled "Zyrtec and Itchy face neck" and saw a lot of sites where they talked about this happening to people and it taking sometimes over 30 days for the itching to subside.  Yikes!  I don't know if this is the case for me, though.

In the meantime, I've washed all my bedding and coat/hat/scarf in that fabulous Dreft (hypo-allergenic) for babies.  Now, I smell like my nieces, Sara and Izzy.  They always smell so good, lol, ha!  I know your secret!! 

I've also been moisturizing and not showering every day.  Makes it hard, but with short hair and it being so cold and dry outside, I'm always in a coat and I'm thinking no one will notice. 

The smell of the Dreft detergent will whiff them away to babyland anyways.

Any takers on this one?  Have you experienced any itchy skin/rash after quitting Zyrtec or maybe just part of the adjustment period after chemo or maintenance?  Just curious.

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