Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Haven't posted in a while because what I have to post about is mondo depressing.

Mondo? Anyway.

Round 7 of chemo had an interesting surprise: apparently round 6's fun bout of puke-iness was not an isolated incident! Despite seeming to be triggered by a legitimate stomach issue, the phenomenon was repeated last week, minus the eating of expired foods.

It seems now, when I enter the infusion ward, I throw up. Before I get the chemo infusion that makes me feel like shit for what used to be days and is now pretty much permanent. My body basically just says NOOOOOOOOOO which makes sense, it can't be expected to understand that without poison it will die.

I'm told I can try to fight this by taking more Atavin, so ok, I will try. But chemo all in all is starting to kick my ass and I'm not super happy about it!

Here's the good news: based on the results of my next PET/CT (to be conducted after my next round of chemo) I might be switching from chemo to radiation, which I'm told has less in terms of short term side effects.

I mean, sure, it comes with the risk of lung cancer in 15-20 years, but pumping more chemo drugs in my body increases my risk of leukemia in that same time span since we currently have no cure for cancer THAT DOES NOT CAUSE CANCER. So it's kind of 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

That means my next round of chemo could be my last. And the decision is up to me, really. If the scan shows some cancer still, the recommendation is radiation. If it's clean, I can sort of call it like I feel it, and I think I am done with chemo.

Radiation will be every day for a month. And that is cause for celebration. Gives you a sense of where I'm at these days.

In other news, pain makes it hard for me to fall asleep, but apparently so does Oxycodone.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Not Entirely Cancer's Fault I GUESS

Now that I've got all my disorganized miserable thoughts out, I guess I'm ready to look at my situation more level-headedly:

1. I'M TIRED. Worrying about cancer, all the shit my body is going through... It's a full time job and I've had no days off. That has not put me in a good place.

2. When I talk about my whole life being shitty I really just mean my inability to imagine a future in which I feel fulfilled by my career in any way. I have worked for a decade towards a goal I no longer believe is achievable. Even if that goal is no longer achievable because of choices I have made, that still counts. It still disappoints. And I have no back up plan. I find that panic worthy. Even if I focus on those other parts of my life that are going well like my awesome girlfriend that I'm totally going to put babies in some day, I realize that in that future I am still too poor to raise a family. What I'm saying is I need to get back to the projects that keep me sane. Cancer has derailed that and makes it harder to get back but if I don't work on some poems and read some lit crit or practice French or dabble on a screenplay or SOMETHING I am going to lose my mind. I should probably think about mobilizing a search for a new job once I get better, too.

3. I need to do more things for me and feel less guilty about it. Specifically, I am declaring myself done feeling bad that people in the office have to work harder if I am there less or less efficient when I'm there. That's not my problem. I didn't choose to get cancer and days off come with the cancer territory. Like the one I took today. The thing about sick days when you have cancer is that they are always really sick days. I don't even care that I'm making less money. In fact, I am planning a leave of absence that will even further damage my wallet while putting more strain on the office! Because it's what I need.

4. I like to push my body with my bad habits because I don't want to let cancer win, but clearly I need to hydrate more and exercise. I joined a getfit program through work where I log my exercise minutes and my co-workers do too, so hopefully the mutual encouragement should help motivate me.

I don't know if being level-headed and itemizing my problems has helped at all. It definitely did not cure my cancer! But it makes me feel more like I have a plan and am taking steps to get to a better place, which is clearly what I need. Without a plan I just dissolve into miserable shit and that is no fun for anybody.