Possible side effects…

They are listed on any medication; possible side effects. That long medical sounding paragraph that most of us never take time to read. This post is  about medical side effects but it is also about the stir crazy effects this past week has had on me…and more importantly my family. The reality is that this chemo therapy keeps me shy, close to home and away from sunlight…with that scenario the walls tend to close in. If you ask my wife she will tell you I have 2 settings; get things done at a leisurely pace or my get it all done right now, immediately, do not wait, slightly OCD pace. A few months ago I cleaned the inside of the dishwasher, just because. Like any busy family we still had a few Christmas decorations up around the house, so I them put away…I vacuumed the basement, completely rearranged the basement storage, categorized our collection of post-renovation half full paint cans and added a set of speakers I found in the storage room to the stereo in the media room. But wait, there’s more! Once I finished vacuuming I decided that the entire vacuum needed to be cleaned…yes you heard that right. I cleaned the vacuum, both inside and out. I explained to my wife “how can something clean if it is not clean”…looking back on that statement; I have no idea what it means. God bless my wife.  

Now, about those other side effects. I write this, knowing of course, that there are plenty of people so much worse off than me and I hope they persevere but at this moment my face feels like I have a combination of the worst sun burn/wind burn known to man. The skin on my face is red, blotchy and tacky to the touch. Headaches are numerous and sleep comes and goes, not from pain but from an intense desire to scratch the itch that covers most of my face. Big bummer alert; I have lost my ability to really taste my food. Most everything tastes like dirty potatoes. I had been told that this type of chemotherapy can have that effect on my taste buds and bam…it happened, my tastebuds left. I hope they are enjoying themselves on a beach somewhere eating spicy tacos. This whole “tastebuds on vacation” thing bums me out because I love to cook and my dear friend and co-anchor Kelcey Carlson has loaned me her copy of Julia Child’s cookbook. To that end I have promised myself to make coq au vin, truly an all afternoon escapade. Cooking in the French style will be wonderful. A hungry dog at my feet and an endless array of ingredients on my counter…but it has not escaped me that I may not be able to taste said coq au vin…so I hope my wife and daughters like it as much as I hope I enjoy making it. 

Gotta go, family night tonight…

thanks for looking in; end of day 6. Tomorrow is day 7, picture posting day.

God Bless,



Author: ianmn

FOX 9 Chief Meteorologist Ian Leonard...love my life, love my wife, love my daughters and love my dog...kinda like the cat. I am the #stayskyaware dude.

24 thoughts on “Possible side effects…”

  1. Ian, wishing you more comfort. Just a thought, maybe the doctor can advise or give you something for the itching and burn. I hope he or she can. Been there with a different cancer so I kept bugging my oncologist for more comfort when going through chemotherapy. Well wishes coming your way…


  2. Ian,

    Both Kathy and I have had chemo, different kinds but it all sucks.

    When I was younger, I took some karate classes. I learned a life long lesson ( besides don’t get hit!!!). To earn a higher belt, we had to break a board with a punch. What I learned was to see past the board. If you hit it concentrating on the board, you won’t break it, just your hand!

    So when Kathy had chemo not too long ago, I suggested we ” look past the board”. It really helps to get Through it. Look beyond it, you will get through it and come out the other side.

    David Cooper

    Sent from my iPad



  3. So the thing with chemotherapy of all kinds, is that it all sucks!! With that being said, what I do know from having gone through it, is that the side effects are temporary – my hair grew back, my nausea subsided, and I regained the weight I had lost. Your face will be beautiful again, your tastebuds will return and your OCD will hopefully be moderated – ha ha!! When we made the choice to go through chemotherapy, we made the choice to attempt to stay around long term to be with our families. That, to me, was worth every single damn side effect there was. Not to minimize any of it, but the idea that you will see your daughters grow up, as I have had more time to see my daughter grow up and to see more of David’s photos, is just simply what it’s all about. My philosophy for many years has been “what’s bad is good” – the good that will come out of this bad, is that your wife and your daughters will have you around to share in their lives for a long time.


  4. Praying for you! My daughter Maddie is the one you spent time talking to st the fair in 2015 re:PCS. I’ve wondered how the Botox has helped. Hopefully you aren’t dealing with the compounded headaches. Thank you for letting us into your life and sharing your ups and downs!!


  5. Your journaling and your humor will get you through this. I’m going to google the stuff you’re putting on your face. Can’t wait to see your pics! 🐝


  6. Ian,
    ‘Just read your update and add my chuck on the shoulder and more importantly, my prayers for healing and personal growth during this tough time. I made road trips North and South on Hwy 52 looking for the miracle with my name on it at Mayo from age 29-31. I have learned empathy, I have stretched my Type A do it, do it now attitude to add some patience and I have trusted God to see me through the hardest time in my life. I’m sure that like me, you will have good days and ugly ones. In the end, I look back and see how it changed me for the better. I took health for granted until I was not healthy. Watch for personal growth spurts, they’re comin’!


  7. I read all the possible side affects of using Flourouracil and realized how similar they are to burns. Burn survivors have most of these and we take medications to reduce the itching. Please ask your doctor about itch medication taken orally. I use one that really works.


  8. We sure do miss seeing you on the air, I am sure you do too. I had my MOHS surgery about 3 weeks ago by your same surgeon. I commented to him that he is the “famous surgeon” since he did yours as well. We talked about you and he said you were a hoot. I had about 40 stitches in my cheek, there is a scar but have been told it will fade. I was an idiot!! Tanning beds were so relaxing and it helps my skin I told myself. Turning 50 in a few months, I now know that tan was not worth it! The MOHS surgery is not fun, but I am thankful for it. I am thinking of you, minute by minute you will get through this. A day is to much to handle right now. Praying for comfort and rest for you.


  9. Thank you for sharing your challenges and triumphs. You gave me the courage to start a blog to document my (just beginning) breast cancer battle. We’ll all move forward through this together. The higher, the fewer!


  10. Ian, Ian, Ian. You are still hilarious in the middle of having this seriousness, but in all reality hon you cannot ‘itch’ your face lol. You funny. But no really, loss of taste, the burning, and itching, I’m wondering rather than take another oral or applied med for the itch, maybe a fan. Ask your doc if that would effect it good or bad though first. I know it has always helped my sunburn but it also made me cold at the same time. There is a joke in there somewhere. You hang in there and we are all praying and sending good, no great thoughts for you and your family. Take care.


  11. Ian, hang in there! I never experienced chemo, but I have lost my sense of taste and smell after a viral illness. That was enough to make me panic–I do not enjoy cooking, but I loved smelling my garden, the dirt, the flowers. Got them back, but it took a while. We’re all cheering for you!


  12. I’ve watched both parents struggle with the effects of radiation/chemo therapy. Two very strong people working through such a harsh, time consuming disease that tests not only your physical strength but your faith. Neither complained about why them I guess because I did.
    Thank you Ian for your honesty of feeling and taste. I don’t know what was going through their thoughts but I have an idea through you. I pray God gives you the strength and support to defeat this unforgivable disease. The love ❤️ and encouragement has been there since the beginning of this journey with family/friends and faithful viewers. I understand more of their journeys because of you and I’m very grateful to you!
    Prayers and healing to you because the inner/outer strength is shining.


  13. Praying for you. Enjoy reading your post and looking back on my cancer journey. Remembering the same thoughts and worries you are going through. Family is the reason we trudge through the journey. We want to be around to see our kids grow older and our grandchildren grow up. We want to be around to grow old and wrinkly with our spouse. Stay strong and as I sit here now all those side effects are a distant memory that when reminded I remember them as a bother and irritation but they faded with time. Attitude is the secret to getting through it and keeping busy cleaning that vacuum cleaner and anything else you can find to keep your mind busy and off of dwelling on the big C! Any of us that have experienced this know exactly what you are feeling. Bless you and keep up the humor!


  14. I would like to help you with the boredom problem. My hobby is making cards with rubber stamps. I don’t have a craft room. All my stuff is in the kitchen & closet. Lately it’s more in the kitchen. You are welcome to come and organize to your heart’s content. And when your tastebuds come back, I will make some baked ziti for you. Let me know when you want to come organize. I am totally serious.


  15. Bless you and your amazing sense of humor! You have a way with words no matter what situation you’re in. You’ve actually inspired me to get after my projects! Take care my favorite weatherman♡


  16. Ian, thank you for sharing your journey. My husband has been through this treatment, not only on his face but also on other parts of his body. It is horrible for a while. But rest assured that neither the appearance nor the feeling is permanent. Your commenters above who advised you to “look past the board” have the right idea. Our kids are in taekwondo, and they get the same advice from their teacher. You can’t break the board unless you’re punching THROUGH it, not TO it.


  17. Hi Ian, in Oct I had some Basel cell cancer removed from my nose, you’re Dermatologist Dr and mine are the same. By the time he finished removing it all, it left such a large hole he couldn’t repair it and referred me to a plastic surgeon, I went through the procedure, it was quite disfiguring. I’m still on the mend, with no feeling yet on the right side of my nose, but at least I’m clear of the cancer.
    So I can understand what you are feeling, and, you’re right ” We were idiots” !
    Wishing you the best.


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