Last week blues…

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Shay here!

It is interesting the routines we get into. How easily we slip into them, and how strange it feels to bid them adieu. I have been musing about what it means for this to be Chris’ last week of chemo. It is of course fantastic news, but there is a bittersweetness to it as well. It means we won’t be here at the clinic any more, seeing these sweet caretakers. It means Chris will return to work at the office before too long, no longer always at home when I want to see his face or eat lunch together (ya know, when he has am appetite for lunch at all ;). It means returning to a new normalcy on the other side of CANCERZOMG and wondering if it will be the same or not. I don’t feel all that different just now, personally, but I know Chris surely does; and we haven’t had the time to talk about that fact too much, since his energy is so low most days that a deep talk about Feelings and Life isn’t a priority. I can fully understand how people facing more dire prognoses with their cancer need counseling to be able to find space to express just how much things change in your mind and body during treatment.

And then I feel kind of guilty for thinking I will miss any part of this. I mean, I haven’t been the one suffering in the way Chris has, and to cling to an part of this feels like I am diminishing what a shitty time it has been for him. Then again, maybe when we do talk more about this later on, I will better understand his experience and headspace, and perhaps he, too, will miss parts of this experience. But let’s just get past these final few treatments. Then we’ll talk…

A Life on Hold

Shay here with a little mind-dump.

It’s funny how some events in your life can really fill your field of vision, where everything else becomes hazy and easy to forget, while the One Thing takes center stage. You allow yourself to drop the ball–you can see yourself doing it, but it’s like a slow motion scene where you watch it drop and you don’t even try to reach out and prevent it from happening.You just kind of furrow your brow at it at it and let it go.

That’s kind of how the days have been passing in the last two months since we learned Chris’ diagnosis: not slowly, but…groggily? and without much of my own motivation moving things forward. Continue reading

Day three : feeling run down

Just a quick update here.  I’m in the chair – been here for about an hour and a half.

On day one, I was feeling pretty good through the day until the nausea hit a little bit around 6:30pm.  Not too bad, but definitely off.  Low grade headache.  Energy vacillating between low and high, thanks to the steroids + exhaustion.

On day two, I started feeling off pretty much as soon as I got home from chemo.  Headache is still ever-present, but still not very bad.  I feel a little like I had a vaccine shot yesterday or something – you know how it feels a little like a low grade cold?

Today is day three – I woke up feeling kind of crappy, and really just wanted to crawl back in to bed.  I still wouldn’t call this “bad” by any stretch, but my energy is absolutely down and I’m feeling weird.  My hands were shaking mildly this morning.

I’m eating, though less than usual.  This morning I had a bowl of instant oatmeal – 2 packets.  The first two or three bites tasted good, but after that I had to make myself eat the rest.  I got it down okay – I didn’t have to “choke it down” or anything – but I really didn’t feel motivated to take any more bites either.

Meh – more later.  Rest now.

– C

Chemo day 2, volume turned to 11.5 !

Hey all!  I guess this is my inaugural post here at the blog.  Really, this is my first blog of any substance – so bear with me if I’m a bit clunky at first.

Today’s chemo went quite a bit faster than yesterday, even with the introduction of my third drug (Bleomycin), which took an extra half hour.  When they started me out yesterday, it was at a rate of around 500ml/hour.  Throughout the day as I was able to handle the dosages, they moved me up to 600ml, then 800ml/hour.  After I woke up from a nap in the afternoon, I noticed it’d been moved to 1000ml/hour, and the pump was noisier (and angrier) than it’d been all day.

Today, they moved me to a two pump system, and had one dedicated to saline, while the other was dedicated to the revolving tray of drugs.  The saline was running almost all day at a constant 550ml/hour, and the drugs were switched in and out running at 600ml/hour.

Combined volume:  1150ml/hour

Before starting me on the actual chemo drugs, they also give me a couple anti-nausea drugs and a steroid – each of which comes in a bag of fluid that’s between ~200ml and ~500ml.  The chemo drugs Cisplatinum (yes, made with real platinum!  heavy metals administered directly to the heart is the straight dope!) and Etoposide (aka “VP-16“, which sounds like a Nazi mind control drug or something) are in 500ml bags except the Bleo, which is 200ml (quick!).

Anyway, the whole process has been interesting (from a scientific “I’m learning new things” point of view), terrifying (from a “2 years ago my mom was also just starting chemo, and didn’t make it” point of view), and also reassuring (from a “will you just look how many damn people care about me!” point of view).  So far, it hasn’t been terribly bad physically – though I’m still pretty sure that’s going to get worse.  Yesterday evening, I had some mild nausea, but didn’t vomit or anything – just feeling really off, and in a completely unfamiliar way.  It didn’t start until after 6:30 yesterday, but I think I’m already starting to feel it today.  I’ve also had a low grade headache since yesterday.  Really, I had one all weekend from the anxiety, but this is also… different than a “usual” headache.  Thankfully so far, it is just sitting around in the back of my head, annoying me with its persistence and  reluctance to die down – but it isn’t a bad headache – it doesn’t really hurt – just annoying… all… the… time.

On that note, I’m going to stop rambling and try to relax.  More later, and thanks for reading!

– C