Monday, 2 June 2008

..and on the 3rd day, he got up

Well, after 3 days pretty much stuck in bed, I'm back and feeling more alive.
Looks like the effects of chemo are somewhat cumulative with me. Some people get away with it and some don't, then again, some are hit really hard, so I still think I'm pretty lucky.
I got chemo #6 on Friday and after getting the pre-meds for the Rituximab, I was dozing off and feeling a bit sicky. I'll tell you the worst thing. Around midday they bring out these snack boxes. Little cardboard packs with a sandwich, crisps, a drink, etc in. Nice idea. Sadly, I've developed an association to them and feeling sick (I'm not alone either, a few people I've talked to can't look at them without wanting to gag). So, beware. If you're getting chemo'ed, you can build a mental link to things. Urgh! Just thinking of the snack box now makes me want to hurl. Think of something else, think of something else... erm... Lost. Yeah, it was the end of the season finale last night. I hauled myself out of bed around 7pm, spent a bit of time around the kids and then watched Lost. I must admit, I liked it. A little saggy in parts but cool in others. Gradually things are being revealed, but enough is left submerged to keep me interested. Ooh, but I did like the end of episode cliff hanger. Ooh, yeah!
Anyway, back to the job at hand. Chemo 6 was a pain in the butt. So glad to only have 2 left. Can't wait to be done. Looking forward to being normal again! Assuming of course, the visitor that has been residing in my chest and round abouts has got the good sense to leave totally and never return. I'm working with the assumption that he realises he is not welcome and it's time to move on and judging by the response, that seems to be pretty reasonable. Still, waiting for the scan results after my last treatment cycle is going to feel like being one of the competitors on one of the reality shows awaiting their fate (winner or evictee) stood their during the extended pause after the host has said "and the winner is...".

A quick mention about CHOP-R (the chemo regimen I'm on). I have been asked if it is a one hit deal or whether you keep getting extras throughout the cycle. Well, a chemo cycle for CHOP, for me, goes a little something like this:
Day 1: You turn up, they plug you in and load you. Then release you back into the wild
Day 10: Go to hospital and give some blood
Day 19: Go to hospital and give more blood. Man, they like the blood
Day 21: Rinse, wash and repeat cycle.

So, there is only one day when you're dosed up, after that its recovery time. I know there are different regimes, where you go in as an in-patient or go and get loaded up for several hours and then get sent home with a chemo pump attached that continues loading you for upto 48 hours, but CHOP aint like that. I hope that helps.

Oh yeah, jumping around again. The last cycle I was given a set of 3 injections to boost my immune system. Basically they cause my bone marrow to get busy and start pumping out the good guys (white blood cells, Neutrophils specifically), to do honourable battle with any invading scum bacteria. In the words of king Leonidas of the Spartans, in the 300, "Neutrophils, prepare for glory!".
Anyway, it looks like this will now become a regular occurrence for me (At least for these last 3 cycles) as my poor wussy bone marrow keeps getting totally nuked by the chemo and taking too long to generate new fighters and needs a little help. Ah, poor chicken. The plus side is that this should mean that I will avoid getting any more nasty infections they lay me up feeling like doom and gloom and also that I get to meet more of the local district nurses who have really impressed me with their friendliness, caring and passion for their work. A great bunch.

Almost forgot to mention (blimey, this post is getting a bit big), that I saw the new Indiana Jones on Thursday night. Hmmm, what to say. It was Indy, so deserves some respect just for that, but, in my opinion, it wasn't a patch on the other films. A little too much trying to fill in back story and I reached the limit of suspension of disbelief way before the group fell off 3 massive waterfalls one after another, landing completely unaffected. Yes, I know it's fantasy and I know it's Indiana Jones, but I either need long enough gaps between impossible events to forget about them or a few less in order to keep my disbelief suspended. I think I preferred Iron man.

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