Tuesday, July 18, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0238 - Waiting for Good Days

I know, I know. Even when I was in hospital suffering from complications, I somehow found time to compose blog entries about my experiences, research, and reflections on my battle with cancer. Now, I'm just undergoing chemotherapy, trying to work part-time (telecommuting mostly), and fighting my way back into a semblance of a normal life. And yet I can't seem to find the energy to compose a blog entry. Has my life become so predictable and boring?

Not really. But fatigue is a very strange creature. It sits on your chest with a sardonic smile making snide comments about how you're now half the man you used to be. You can try to push it out of the way or even argue, but the fact remains that fatigue will have an impact. And it does.

As I go through this third treatment cycle, I'm beginning to feel a bit better again. There were some complications on the day of infusion, beginning with a doubling up of the anti-nausea medication. Thankfully, I had a very observant chemotherapy suite nurse who noticed that my oral medication and my "opus" medication were actually giving me 22 mg of the steroid when I only should have received 16 mg. She said, "You'll probably be quite hungry and full of energy this evening. You may have a hard time sleeping tonight." As it turned out, I slept immediately for about 2.5 hours and then stayed awake until early in the morning.

In addition, as I began to get ready to leave the chemotherapy suite, I noticed the telltale tingling in my right hand. By the time I reached the car, both hands were tingling, so much so that I had to "palm" the steering wheel to have any chance of driving myself home. But the sensitivity was so acute that I could barely open the car door and use my keys to get into the house.

A couple days later that same chemotherapy suite nurse called to say that because I was suffering neuropathy symptoms immediately after treatment, they would double up the magnesium/calcium infusion for my 4th treatment cycle.

And so it goes. This time, there was some nausea and general fatigue Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. There was intermittment neuropathy and sensitivity to cold foods as well as frequent bowel movements, so much so, in fact, that I felt like I was either in bed or on the toilet all three days.

But now it's a bit better. Even more importantly, I know that it will probably get better now for another 7 days.

Compared to so many others going through chemotherapy, my struggles are minor annoyances. It's just that it seems like a long, long time since we began treatment in January. But, if I look forward, I've only got to hold on until the beginning of October. By then, I should be able to anticipate days, weeks, and months of feeling better than I have all year. I can hardly wait!
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