Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Friday, July 15, 2005

Chemo 5 Out Of 8

Another day and other chemo. It is interesting as I always feel nervous the day of a chemo even though it doesn’t hurt, I don’t hurl all over the place, I don’t feel too terrible and overall it is just not a bad experience. But I feel nervous none the less.

I think film and TV really do a disservice to people by not portraying things accurately. I have seen so many really horrible portrayals of cancer treatment where people are falling down puking their guts out and behaving like it is a totally miserable thing. It really hasn’t been for me. It hasn’t been nice either but no worse than a really long bout of flu. I will say this; there are drugs recently available that take care of so many of the bad chemo side effects. I really benefit from these medications while some others don’t get any good effects at all. And chemo used to be much more of a physical blitzkrieg than it is now. Things have been really fine-tuned. While chemo can be really bad for some most have an easier time of it.

Normally I try to go to my chemo with an empty stomach (a mental thing for me with my vomit phobia) and I take a pile of pills before I even get hooked up so I get all their benefits immediately. I get the chemo which does not burn or hurt in any way. I don’t even feel it going in and the worse pain I feel is the needle stick. Nothing major at all. Since I take Ativan to mellow out my anxiety-ridden ass when I come home from chemo I climb right into bed and zonk out for the night. What I do beforehand is make up a time schedule for all the meds I have to take, as I have to swallow some kind of medication every 4 hours. So I set my alarm clock and it goes off day or night to keep me on schedule.

The following day I nap most of the day away too. I might get a bit queasy just before I am due for a pill dose but that is usually taken care of with the pills or a couple little puffs of pot. Yes, pot REALLY helps. It instantaneously turns off the nausea like a light switch. Normally I don’t do drugs of any kind but this does really help and who am I to shun that. Normally, over the rest of my post chemo days I use marijuana two or three times -if that. The drugs really help for the most part. Then starting on the second day I am more up and about but feel a bit dizzy and lethargic. When they told me that I would feel tired I expected to feel sleepy. I don’t usually sleep more than my normal hours (except immediately post chemo) but lack overall motivation. I just feel blah. I am not really eating at this point too, just snacking on grapes and watermelon. And lots of water! Must drink the water. By day 4 I am eating broth and crackers along with my fruit. I sit and watch DVDs or read or blogstalk. I don’t comment much as my brain is fuzzy and I have no sense of humour. This is when the strong smell thing is the worse. Maybe I will have funny tastes in my mouth. Cold food is best which is why the grapes are so good. By day 6-7 I can slowly start eating normally again in small portions without any stomach issues. By day 7 I am pretty much back to normal but with the usual fatigue and stuff.

That, my friends, is chemo in a nutshell. I have my appointment later this afternoon. I’ll post again in a few days. Everybody have a great weekend.

19 comments:

Squirl said...

Well, I'm sure your chemo will go well. I'll be thinking about you this weekend. Yes, I'll be reading, but also thinking about you. HUGS

kalki said...

The details of this fascinate me. And I don't mean that in a "You are like a zoo animal" way - I'm just really interested in what this process is like for you. Thanks for sharing, and I'll be thinking about you this weekend.

Candace said...

I agree with Kalki.

Glad you're doing alright, too.

east village idiot said...

I know what you mean about smoking pot. I had mega morning sickness and threw up everyday of my pregnancy - like you I had vomit phobia so the whole process blew my mind. i was walking down the street in the east village (nyc) and some guy was smoking a joint in front of me. I breathed in his second hand smoke and presto - no nausea. I would have followed that man to the end of the earth if I could. the U.S. is so f*cked up about the medical use of marijuana. thank you for sharing your chemo experience. Your blog is great. Hope it's okay if I comment now and then!

Susie said...

kalki with her "like a zoo animal" . . . I'm speechless. I love her. OK, I'm not speechless anymore. Actually, I think I felt much the same way as kalki while reading this. Just, wow, this is so interesting; this will be so helpful, so reassuring to people. And I'm so glad it's not movie-of-the-week awful for you.
Now, pardon my ignorance (once again), but it sounds as though medical marijuana is legal there? Or all marijuana? Whatever, I'm very pleased that you can get that. I have heard from so many totally non-druggy people how much pot helps them with chemo, M.S., other troubles.
Thank you for letting us in. You rest, now, love. Sweetest dreams.

Precisiongirl said...

Glad to hear that the weed is taking the edge off. My Nana smokes it to help her with her one million medical conditions.

Take care of yourself, and come back to bloggyland soon, x

ps. Thanks for saying Jode is hot - it's always nice to find a fellow stubble appreciator

mrtl said...

I'll be thinking about you, Kranki! Hope this one goes as well as all the others.

abcd said...

Hello,

Thank-you for your comment. We are waiting for the "team" to arrive and reading these now to Sarah so we can see her smile.

We all thank you for your support.
Wishing you the very best with your
own battle with cancer. I am quite
certain from what I read here, your
approach to your treatment will serve you well.

Ciao
Nikki (Sarah's partner)


We are waiting for the "team to arrive".

Vanessa said...

I don't think I've ever read a detailed account of how chemo affects a person daily. Thanks for sharing that with us. I, like your other readers, am interested in knowing what you're going through, and am in awe at the way you express your experiences in such an elequent manner. Sending good thoughts your way from Arkansas!

snaps79 said...

Looking forward to hearing from you again in a few days. Be sure to tell us more about the pot. Kisses to Yoshi!

Sharkey said...

That day 2 crap is the worst--feeling blah, wanting to do something--ANYTHING--but then finding that you don't have the energy. Jumpy and uncomfortable in your own skin. Sleep is the best, if only because it helps the time pass more quickly.

Wishing you a speedy recovery from this latest installment! I know I've said this before (before your treatment protocol changed), but you're more than half done now--HOORAY!!

laura said...

Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I'd come over there and hug you right now (and cut up some watermelon and peel you a grape. And roll you a j) if you were within driving distance.

Squirl said...

Just putting in my I dropped by. Hope you're feeling okay. :-)

L.Bo said...

You make it all sound so manageable, but I still find myself wishing for the ten thousandth time that things were easier for you.

Sorry I have been absent. It has been hectic as D leaves tomorrow. I hope all went well with the treatment. By my calculation it should be day four and you are onto crackers and broth. Remember how much we all love you, chemo brain, fatigue and all. We'd even love you if you were vomiting!

Von Krankipantzen said...

squirl-thanks so much! Read a bunch for me too!

kalki-hey, feel free to ask questions. I am always happy to answer. I am doing fine and appreciate the good wishes.

misfit-thanks so much, SM! Always glad to see you here.

east village idiot-I can't imagine how morning sickness can be like with a phobia. I would freak. The pot is a godsend. I wish it was available to everyone in my situation-legally that is. Please come on by and comment as much as you want.

susie-Weeeeelll, it is not really legal here but very tolerated. I could get pot from a legal place called The Compassion Club but my neighbour just gets it for me. It is easier. And I am glad I can get it. Thanks so much for the sweet thoughts.

precision girl-I am glad to hear your Nana is getting good benefits from pot. I did hesitate to tell you all about it but it just helps so much I thought the world should know.

mrtl-thanks so much. Everything is hunky dory this time Very little side effects. Just sleeping loads.

swlf-nikki! Absolutely give my best to Sarah. As I go through my shit I think of the shit she is going through too and send out the good vibes. You are all in my thoughts.

vanessa-thank you so much and thank you Arkansas! I always glad my story is interesting and a good read. I always wonder if I am grossing people out or maybe boring them. But this is what my life is like so thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

HDL-what can I say, the pot is magical. I swear it. How lucky that I live in Pot Smokin' City, Canada. Pot is a lifestyle here. Normally not mine but it is for now. It soooooo works!

sharkey-thanks for reminding me it is more than half way over! I forget sometimes. I am feeling pretty good this time around. Sleeping a lot. Time is flying by.

laura-I super appreciate that. I got my grapes and watermelon all peeled and cut up yesterday and a fresh j too. All is good in the world.

squirl-thanks for checking in again. You are too sweet to me!

lbo-things are easier this time and all the love is really helping. Speaking of love-send some from me away with that mister of yours. I am thinking of all of you.

L.Bo said...

That is just one of the things I love about you Kranki. No matter how much crap you are having to deal with yourself, you always have the love to give away. I will pass it on.

Andrea said...

I just want to chime in (after a long absence visiting here) and say you go girl with your weed. I am very conservative in a lot of ways, but I have a few...let's say... ethical quirks that people who know me would find surprising, and this is one of them. I think medical use of marijuana should be legalized. I'm not talking street use, just medical use, like you do. And I'm glad you're getting some relief from it.

Von Krankipantzen said...

lbo-always got the lovin' for you!

Andrea-thanks! You know I generally disapprove of drugs but I gotta say this is the exception. Thanks for your support. Too bad pot has such a bad name that politicialns can't see past its street use.

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