Monday, June 25, 2012

28. The June Cancer Update

So this was originally going to be a post about the Wildstorm universe, how it's got some pretty great characters and ideas, and how DC has no idea what to do with it. But I never actually wrote that beyond a little thinking, so instead you get the cancer update. Sorry, comics fans. But hey, congratulations, cancer fans!

Last time I wrote, I had taken my second round of chemo and was scheduled for a trip to MD Anderson in late July. I've been updating on Facebook, but haven't updated here, sorry about that.

The week out of chemo two, I had a bit of a scare. I thought I might have gotten infected again, which was the same problem I had that first put me into the hospital when we found the cancer. My previous surgeon had instilled the fear of God into me that such a thing would be really, really bad and could (in his words) "affect the prognosis." So instead of going to the doctor and checking it out, I spent the week wishing real hard that it would go away. End result: Emergency room on a Saturday with bleeding somewhere you don't want bleeding.

The good news is, it wasn't an infection, but the bad news is, it probably would have been much easier if I'd just gone to the doctor during the week. At any rate, after a quick trip to the hospital that unnecessarily scared my mom and my wife (sorry) and probably others (sorry), all was well and I felt better.

Then it was week three of chemo, and it turns out, the effects kind of are cumulative. Monday was OK as normal, no new problems, I've been drinking enough water and getting enough protein, so there aren't any side effects that are new. I didn't get any new reports on the blood markers about whether or not the cancer has shrunk, but just based on how I'm feeling, I believe that the chemo is working and the tumor is shrinking.

However, on Wednesday, when I got the Omega Pack off, I just crashed. I barely remember work, and I headed home and slept for what was probably the rest of the day. I was exhausted and stayed that way until probably mid-Thursday. The whole thing kinda screwed up my sleep schedule, which is still screwed up. I've been waking up early (which anyone who knows me will tell you is not my natural state), crashing in the afternoon and then being awake and unable to sleep late at night (OK, that is my natural state). Still trying to get back on keel, and probably will just in time for the last round of chemo to fuck it all up again the first week of July.

Ah, that's the news. Due to some miscommunication between MD Anderson and Texas Oncology, we actually hadn't scheduled the last round of chemo, and we were going to basically wait three weeks for my trip in late July and then do chemo. Or at least, that's what my oncologist thought, and he was definitely nervous about it. That was never my plan, though, and we got it all worked out. Because of the weird Wednesday July 4th, unfortunately, my last round of chemo is going to be on a Tuesday through Thursday schedule, which really screws with my work schedule, but that's the way it has to be.

The good news (sort of) is that MD Anderson happened to call me after my oncologist's appointment to see how I was doing, and I was surprised to learn that we could actually move up my appointment. While I would have loved a couple weeks off instead of going right to Houston after a week of chemo, earlier is definitely better, and so my trip got moved from late July up to the  second week in July, the 9th through the 11th.

Well, the 8th, because the new appointment has me in at 6:30 in the morning on Monday, which means we need to get there on Sunday. And then we have a late appointment on Wednesday, which means it's a longer time in Houston than I'd like. But... this is going to be the time to get the scan and find out how the chemo has done, which is a cause for nerves but also very important information.

So that's the update. Chemo does get a little rougher as it goes, but I'm still doing pretty well, all things considered. Things have moved up, which means we're moving faster, which means we're aggressively going after the cancer, which is good.

I have to admit, part of me has been thinking of chemo as a big thing to get over, but I'm starting to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. And realizing that the radiation/chemo could be harder, because I'm already a bit weakened by the chemo and it's five days a week instead of three days every two. And realizing that the surgery is gonna be tough, and the chemo after the surgery could be the hardest part. It's a little rough realizing that this really might be the easy part. But hey, when you're running a marathon, you can't exactly stop in the middle, right?

Oh, and I splurged and bought an iPhone and an iPad. So at least while I'm in Houston, I'll have plenty of entertainment.


Matthew said...

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iggzy880 said...

Glad things are at very least progressing well, hope it stays that way