A Blog about Career Changes, Madness, and My Awful Brain

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just a jittery update.

So here I am, a jittery goddamn mess, so I thought Id try to keep my mind busy by writing another blog post.

So I had to go to the cancer clinic today because I was having some really nasty side effects. Apparently, the anti-nauseant I was taking (stemetil) has a whole host of nasty side effect, including extra-pyramidal symptons. What that means kiddies, is that I had just about the worst side effects possible....I'm talking jittterness, shortness of breath, and trouble sleeping. Having these symptoms is the worst thing ever...imagine restless legs syndrome, times it by a hundred, and make it all over your body. Last night, I'm not ashamed to admit, for the first time I prayed for death. I wanted to be dead instead of spend 8 hours climbing out of my skin, trying to be comfortable but failing miserably.

Thats right.....a car can hit me, I can get kidney stones, and I can take the sickness that is chemo and still have hope. But the jitters did me in in a bad way.

Luckily, I was smart enough to call the doctors (I started callling about two hours before the cliinic even opened). So they figured it was probably the stemetil, took me off it, and gave me an iv injection of benadryl to counteract the other drug. I also got a precription for valium, which is supposed to completely take the jitters away while I get rid of the other drug from my body. Well, it doesnt work as well as it should, but Im happy for any relief. Seriously, its not every day you wish for death to get through some lame ass drug side effect.

There is nothing deeper or meaningful about my post today. Im basically just writing this to help me overcome the symptoms

One additional thing....because I'm done my first four rounds of chemo, I keep getting questions of what's next.

Well, next wednesday (the 30th), they will be putting me on a permanent low dose of one of my two drugs (the less nasty one) and then I will start getting radiation every day except weekends. After 5 or 6 weeks of that, then its surgery. Then after my recovery from surgery, I get another 4 chemos similar to the ones I get now.

So thats the agenda.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How to see the Best in People.

My last post was a while ago, so I thought I would go ahead and update. So far, things are going both good and bad. I'm now on my third round of chemo, and, as I post, I am on day 6. Days 5 and 6, as you can remember, are really bad for fatigue. But I although the fatigue is as bad as ever, I've learned how to deal with it a whole lot better than I used to. I no longer sit on the couch when I'm dead tired...this week, I've folded laundry, made coffee, went out to get food, etc. It may not sound like a lot, but when you don't have a drop of energy left, these things can basically leave you breathless.

Yesterday, Bevin commented that I'm not nearly as fatigued as I was the first or second week. I had to admit that ...well...yeah, I sort of am, I just try to deal with it better. Also, the neuropathy has finally kicked in a bit, so on top of being exhausted, I'm restless and jittery as well. Sitting still i is just not an option.

I'm happy to add, though, that I've been eating a whole lot more since I've managed to deal with the nausea a bit better. For the first time since my diagnosis, I've managed to gain 3 or 4 pounds. Since I've lost about 15 pounds since about June or July, that's not all that bad.

Anyways, thats about it for the update. What I really wanted to talk about is the thread of my title.

How to see the best side of people?

Well, kiddies....the answer is easy. Get cancer. No seriously, it's a great way to see what people are made up. Now, because I assume that you guys don't want to go about getting cancer, I'll tell you myself how people behave.

When people first find out you have been diagnosed, the first response is always shock. Whether its your mother, or father, or some guy you just told at the store to explain your twitchy hand, people are always shocked and sorry about your condition. But then something else happens; people care. And not just the people who you think should care about your....your family, your friends, your coworkers. No, the people who care are all around you.

And it's not such a big suprise, is it? That people should care about other people? I sometimes can't believe the support I get at school, from people I barely know. The lady who I used to buy coffee from when I worked by the University found out now that I'm back at school. She remembered me from before and asked me how things are going? I answered....shock, followed by support. The professors from my class have all responded in a similar way...shock, followed by support. I have a fellow student, who went through leukemia, who almost made me cry by introducing himself to me and his past fight with cancer. A guy I barely knew has my back in this horrible fight.

And it's not suprising, because every one of those people I talked to has a story, and in almost every one of those stories, there is someone they loved who had to fight the same fight. They've been there, they've got the wounds, and they are willing to help a fellow fighter out.

The coffee lady has a mother who fought anal cancer. Professors of mine have sisters and brothers who have fought breast cancer and bladder cancer. And leukemia almost took the life of my fellow student.

Kiddies, when it comes down to it, I think people are basically decent. Sometimes we need to be reminded that other people are like us, and not just clones who annoy us with their driving, with their politics, or with their neediness. And it's funny to me that one of those things that brings us together has to be so horrible. Cancer is a way to see the best in people...trust me on this. I would never wish anybody have it, but if you ever do, best prepare yourself to see the beauty in people, and feel the support that you may have never felt otherwise.

Love you all,