Well, tomorrow is round two of chemo. I’ll go to the medical center at some point today to confirm that my blood counts and platelets are where they need to be and get the green light for tomorrow, but I don’t foresee any issues.
Treatment is weird. Chemo was really hard the first time (along with getting the port which was sore and more of a pain in the ass than the folks trying to comfort you about how easy it is let on – though now that it’s healed, it is fine). I’m prepared to feel like shit from the drugs again tomorrow. I don’t think I described my first chemo session on here in detail yet, but actually getting the chemo was tough.
I receive two of my meds there at treatment and take home the third for a 46 hour drip in my fancy fanny pack I’ve talked about before. During my first day of treatment, I made it through about half an hour of the first drug (which takes an hour to complete the drip) before I felt so terrible I had to ask the nurse for a break. They shut off the pump and gave me 20 minutes to recuperate. My vitals were fine, I just felt like total ass and was pretty nauseous. Then the same thing happened an hour and a half into my two hours that the second medicine takes to drip. So, I’m curious about how much better prepared I’ll be tomorrow or if my body will handle it any better.
I’ve had a hard few days. The nausea from the chemo has subsided a bit toward the end of this round but I’ve been waking up feeling weird. I joke when people ask how I’m feeling and often respond “Cancer-y”. I think it’s funny but it’s also true. I still feel the physical pressure on my colon and liver. Maybe part of it’s just mental but I can’t stop thinking about these abnormal cells that have multiplied so much in my body that they’ve formed tumors and have taken over my Sigmoid Colon and my Liver. I can’t stop thinking that they’re there inside me, possibly still growing.
The days when I wake up with these thoughts, I feel like I’m closer to dying than to living. This will hopefully pass. I will hopefully get good news in two weeks when I get my blood drawn and they check my cancer protein levels and see what effect the chemo is having in my fight. But right now, that’s just not a certainty. I will hopefully get better news in 4 weeks after my first CT scan since diagnosis that my masses are shrinking. But right now, that’s just not a certainty.
I’m bummed about Covid for a variety of reasons, of course. But selfishly, if it turns out that I really don’t have much time left, there are things I’d like to do before I go and Covid is going to make doing any of those things hard. I don’t have a bucket list per se. I’ve lived a good life. I’ve been to most of the US states minus a handful. I did my long planned 40th birthday Europe trip last year which was everything I wanted it to be. I’ve loved many people and been loved by many people. I don’t have any regrets in life and there really aren’t many things I haven’t done yet that that I’m dying to do (haha – check out @thecancerpatient on IG for more hysterical, off-color memes like the one below).
But there are people I’d like to see again and places I’d like to visit again. I would kill for a week or two on the Oregon coast right now. Or a night in the Hoh Rain Forest. Or to hike under the redwoods again. Or to see the fall colors in Vermont one more time. I know there’s a chance I can still do these things at some point in the future. But right now, that’s just not a certainty.
I want to revisit this idea of facing my own mortality again for the folks who are reading these posts and are confused or possibly thinking I’m not taking this head on the way I should or that this attitude isn’t helping me. I’m not giving up. I’m not not fighting. I’m fighting. I’m hoping that these treatments work. I’m visualizing myself cancer-free. But my current reality is still that I’m very sick. Cancer has taken over two of my organs. The cancer was not caught quickly. It is advanced. It is stage four. It still has the advantage. I want to live. I want to win this fight. I want to be cancer-free. But right now, that’s just not a certainty.