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Chemo: day 4

May 7, 2015 | Cancer, Chemo Day


That’s me putting on a brave face for the camera. Again, Chris’ credit card pays off in spades.

I got a different nurse today. He was good. It looks like this hospital is staffed pretty well.

I slept through most of the treatment. We came home and I slept some more. The nausea is pretty well under control, but still overwhelming at times. I still haven’t pooped. I’m full of Ex-Lax and Milk of Magnesia so we’ll see what the morning brings.

I got a nice FaceTime interlude from my co-workers as they drink off the stress of the run-up to next week’s conference. That was nice. Awkward, but nice.

Chemo: day 3

May 6, 2015 | Cancer, Chemo Day

Private room, hiding monkey.

I got me a private room today. It was pretty nice. I was able to nap for about half of the session. And no personnel issues today so everything moved right along. I heard some folks didn’t get to go home ’till about 8pm last night. Yeesh.

I’m really starting to feel the nausea now. I didn’t eat all day but I was able to force down dinner. I still haven’t pooped so its only way out might be to come back up. Andy brought me home a large Starbucks Latte earlier ’cause that usually wipes out my colon, but no dice. Whatever is lodged in there doesn’t want to come out.

I’m retaining fluids too. My hands are puffy. Not visibly, but I can feel my wedding ring is super tight. What pee I do get out smells like I could light it on fire.

Guarded by frogs

By gathering strength from my Frog Blankie I was able to do without a wrap on my IV today. I still couldn’t watch the nurse put it in, but I was able to have it out in the open. I’m started to get a little fascinated by it.

Chemo: day 2

May 5, 2015 | Cancer, Chemo Day

CISplatin a pumpin'

The IV today fucking hurt. Getting the port sounds good again 😉 But I think I’ll have to average out the suck across 5 days and see what it looks like.

It was a long day today. In for about 6.5 hours since there was a back-up in getting the drugs out in a timely manner. Something about a few people calling in sick or some such deal. There were quite a few bitchy people on the floor because of it. The nurses all handled it light a champ, but some cranky-ass fuckers just had to sit there and bitch and bitch and bitch. Fortunately they were relieved by their manager who stood in and took the shit.

I was in no hurry. I napped.

I feel bad for Andy. I get a comfy chair and I know hers isn’t that comfy. She went for a walk, though. I was jealous. Before this I never thought that I’d be jealous of being able to walk down a long, boring hallway and back. I’ll have to see if I can do that tomorrow. I don’t know if they let us out in the wild with the IV pumps or not.

I’m starting to notice some mild side-effects. The anti-nausea drugs kept me up all night. Went to bed at 9:30pm but was up again by midnight. Finally went back to bed around 4:45am. I haven’t pooped since chemo started. If the trend continues tomorrow morning I’ll have to bring it up with the nurse. I need to check drug side-effects to see which one is doing it to me.

I was able to nap after chemo. I wanted to walk the dogs, but I was just so tired. I loaded up the MMJ oil, heavy in CBD, in to a vaporizer thing and gave it a shot. Whatever mild nausea I did have was taken care of pretty well. I probably over did a bit because I wanted to knock myself out. But it worked and I got some good sleep time in. I hope I can figure out how stay on some kind of regular sleep schedule.


I almost forgot present #3 from yesterday’s batch of gifts from my excellent friends at Twilio:

Wompa hat, courtesy of Shawn's fellow Twilions.

It is a bit warm to wear all the time. But since it has ear flaps I can wrap it around my neck and it helps me stay cozy.

Gaining strength through the pain of others.

May 5, 2015 | Cancer

I look around myself in the context of getting cancer and I have a lot of experience to draw from. My father who survived prostate cancer and currently suffers early stages of Parkinson’s disease. My friend Alex who still fights colon cancer. My friend Geoff who had testicular cancer and endured an RPLND (do not want!). The girl in the oncology ward who was there before I showed up and still there when I left.

All people who have it worse than me. All people who are getting through it. Some with better fates than others, but of those that I have contact with—I didn’t talk with the young woman at the oncology ward—there’s no sign of faltering. Just a resolve to do what’s necessary to get through.

There’s only one path as far as I see it. Giving up, running away, or ignoring it was never an option. And if these fine folks are getting through it with nary a sign of self pity I know that all I have to do is follow the regimen and stay healthy.

I can’t even say I have to fight. I need to follow. Let the experience of my family and friends guide me along with the expertise of the doctors and nurses as my disposal. This isn’t heroism. Its determination to just make it from one end of the regimen to the other. I think I can do that.

My survival rests on me having the resolve to get my ass out of bed in the morning, let these people do their jobs, and trying not to whimper too much along the way.

Chemo: day 1

May 4, 2015 | Cancer

The view from the throne.

I peed. A lot. 7 times in 2 hours. I wasn’t able to get in to have a port installed before this so I’m doing direct IV catheters for now. I’ll see if it gets too bad. If it does I’ll get it put in. If I can deal with the catheters I’ll skip the extra surgery. If you’re nice to the nurse she’ll wrap up your IV line so that you don’t have to look at the insertion point 😉

When you don't like needles the nice nurse will wrap the IV so you can't see it ;)

It was all a little surreal. I felt pretty good the whole way through and it almost didn’t feel like it was a real treatment. I guess I shouldn’t complain about that. I’m sure I’ll wish for days like this after a few days.

My mouth is a little raw, my muscles and joints ache a bit, and I’m burping a lot (which I’ve read is an indication that I’ll probably end up with puking nausea and not diarrhea). I have a slight headache but its tough to tell what that’s from ’cause I’m grinding my teeth and am otherwise tense. I’m hoping the tension is just nerves.