Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A professional patient with professional care

How am I doing today?  Am I better or worse than yesterday?  What do I need to feel better?  These are all exceedingly difficult questions to which I have no answers.  I know that I was the absolute worst over the weekend, and I know that I'll feel monumentally better by this coming weekend, but everything in between is just shades of gray.  The (now-tiresome) side effects, in order of appearance:  fatigue, hot flashes ("chemopause"--thanks Lori and Kendal!), sore bones, constipation, sore fingertips and nails, blurred vision, sore guts, dizziness, sore back, eye twitches, brain fog, diarrhea, fatigue.  The treatments, in order of administration:  rest, visitors, helpers, heating pad, oatmeal, gatorade, grandma Lori taking the girls for 24 hours Friday/Saturday (an essential treatment for all of us), yogurt.  The visitors and helpers are so critical; a shout-out to all of you who made time out of your busy holiday break to spend time with us and help us.  You make me feel like we're all in this together, which is incredibly powerful.  We're getting through this!

As your teammate I should fill you in on the cancer's retreat.  Visually, it's nearly gone.  There is still a red blush on one side, about the size of a half-dollar, and Dr. Oncologist would be happiest if that went away.  The swelling is also nearly gone.  In short, the success of the treatment continues.

I am spent, but I really want to graph something for you.  Dr. Oncologist says that I'm a bit anemic now, so perhaps my hemoglobin is doing something interesting.  I'll leave you with a hemoglobin graph, with the hard chemo treatments plotted at y=9 and the easy chemo treatments plotted at y=0.
Weakened, but holding steady!


  1. Glad to hear you got some rest on Friday, and about the shrinking redness, yay! Keep up the hard work of feeling better.

  2. Remember in college when certain friends of ours were blacklisted from donating blood until they got more iron in their systems? Your advice (ever the scientist) was: "Eat broccoli. Or nails." That's what your hemoglobin graph reminded me of.

  3. Are they having you take iron supplements? That helped me within the 48 hours after I had Kael.
    And-by the way- the graph does indeed look like your hemoglobin is holding steady!! And that's b/c they are yours and they are strong-willed!

  4. ah nothin' so long as you live at sea level all is good my dear!