We spent a couple of hours today getting prepped for our upcoming chemotherapy sessions, the next round in the battle against the insidious little invader that cost us our bladder and prostate.
Starting bright and early Tuesday, we’ll be spending five or six hours hooked up to an intravenous line that will pump us full of a chemical cocktail designed to interfere with the cellular division of what’s bizarrely known as a “high grade metastatic micropapillary urothelial carcinoma.” It’s perhaps the first time we’ve encountered something called “high grade” that isn’t desirable. [The second breed of cancer they found, adenocarcinoma, was considered irrelevant since it hadn’t escaped from the dearly departed prostate.]
We’ll be partaking of a two-chemical mixture, featuring cisplatin and gemcitabine hydrochloride, with the former being the kick in the ass as far as nausea goes. Two more sessions will follow with only the latter compound, and thus without the urge to purge.
Possible side effects include fever nausea, aches, mouth sores, insomnia, diarrhea and or constipation, loss of feeling in the extremities, high frequency hearing loss, and kidney damage [to name a few] as well as the almost inevitable hair loss.
Considering that the alternative is a very strong possibility that a very aggressive cancer will pop up elsewhere in the old bod, chemo seems the lesser of two evils. The surgeon says that without it, he gives even odds on a recurrence [and with a glum prognosis], compared to a twenty percent chance of recurrence with the chemo.
So what the hell. We’re already missing some key body parts, so why not the hair, too? Besides, unlike the bladder or prostate, it’ll grow back.
So come Tuesday morning, we’ll pack up a few good books and maybe a flick or two to play on our laptop and embark on life’s latest adventure.