Cancer log 69: There’s

Cancer log 69: There's a great secondhand clothing store in my neighborhood, Trends -- it's where I go when I'm feeling the need for some relatively cheap retail therapy. I can usually score a cute top or dress for about ten bucks, and it's surprising how well that works to lift my mood. It's less effective, it turns out, when I find myself considering with every piece whether it'll hide the port scar or not.

I don't mind my port, generally -- I'm actually kind of fond of it now, since it means less ouchiness with the actual chemo treatments and blood draws. We've also mostly trained Anand to stop hurling himself into me -- ouch! But still, I don't necessarily want to advertise, 'hey, I have cancer' when I'm walking down the street. I could, of course, tell everyone that it's actually an old dueling scar, but given that I haven't picked up a sword since high school (and even then, they'd only let the girls use foils, dammit), that claim might be less than convincing.

It's been a rough five days since Thursday's chemo, but interestingly, I'm not sure I can blame it on cancer. I felt a little nauseated, but basically okay on Friday and Saturday. Then, Sunday, I went to Whole Foods to pick up some things, and I thought I was fine, but I picked up one of their free samples of grilled mahi-mahi with mango salsa, and as I raised it to my mouth, I almost threw up right there.

I paused a sec, then ate it anyway, figuring I was just over-sensitive to smells. They'd warned us that might happen with chemo, and I remember that from pregnancy too -- there were a few months when I couldn't take Ellie to the dog park because it smelled so horrible to me. The nausea passed, and I finished my shopping and went home. Only to find myself, around midnight, waking up and emptying the contents of my stomach. That wasn't fun, especially when you add in that Anand was sick with a fever, and woke up every few hours crying for water -- Kevin went when he could, but sometimes I woke up first. It was a rough night.

Monday morning, I was initially inclined to blame it all on chemo, but as the day went on and I was only vaguely queasy, I started to wonder. I think, in retrospect, that I actually got a spot of food poisoning from Whole Foods. I am utterly indignant about that, not that my indignation does me much good now. And on top of that, I think I may have caught Anand's cold-thing; I haven't had much of a fever, but sneezing and coughing a bit, and yesterday, I made it in to teach, but halfway through my second class started feeling really shaky. I got through it and drove home okay, but I then collapsed on the couch, and then the bed, and basically slept from 2 - 8 p.m. Woke up long enough to watch a tv show with Kevin, and then slept my regular eight hours. Woke up today feeling mostly-human again, though I did nap much of the morning. Felt well enough to go for a proper walk this afternoon, though.

All of which makes it really hard to tell if any of this is chemo-related or not. I need a longer baseline! Guess we'll just keep tracking things and see. I'll try to spare you too many details of my gastrointestinal concerns, though. :-)

Since some people have been asking, here's the schedule for treatment -- for three months, it's an infusion ever three weeks. So start with April 9 and count from there. Then in July, I switch to the AC combo, which is more heavy-duty and more likely to make me sick. I am somewhat cranky about the timing of that, because my birthday is in July, and chemo is pretty much the worst birthday present ever. I plan to complain bitterly, just so you're warned. There'll be two months of that, infusions every two weeks through July and August. Then surgery, in September, and daily radiation for six weeks, in Oct/Nov, I think. Should be all done with treatment by Christmas, if all goes well, lord willin' and the creek don't rise.

And now, my darlings, off to do my taxes. With luck and nasty treatments, I'll be able to stave off death for a long, long time, but taxes are inevitable.

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