Chemo Chronicles: We’re halfway through it


The one singular feature of our course of chemotherapy is mental fatigue.

Simply put, the one-two punch of cisplatin and gemcitabine hydrochloride deployed again the metatstatic and highly aggressive micropapillary carcinoma that’s cost us our bladder [and the prostate as well, along with its own breed of slower-growing adenoma] leaves with the our giddy-up-go got up and gone.

Our hemoglobin levels have been declining, which is typical for the Double Whammy regime we’re following, and may require blood transfusions down the line.

We’re also getting two days of IV hydration following our next two [final two] Double Whammy sessions, each followed by two gemcitabine-only sessions.

The regime is experimental in the sense that the rareness of the micropaillary breed is such that there’s no standard treatment. Both our surgeon and our oncologist say that the chemo can cut our chance of another malignant siege from fifty percent to twenty percent.

Sometimes we find ourself wondering if the misery is worth the effort, but we persevere. Besides, we’ve got a a grandchild, currently known as Shrimpy, due in July and a daughter hoping for a grampa who’ll indulge said Shrimpy — a role that seems to come naturally to us [infants and cats seem to find us okay].

With family and friends to cherish and that damn sense of obligation we can’t seem to shake, we’ll hang on, miserable though we may be.

The worst may be yet to come [including the possibility of transfusions if steadily declining hemoglobin levels pass a numerical Rubicon], but we’ve been learning how to handle the worst of it.

That damn problem with writing

One significant impact of the chemo has been that inability to bring ourselves into heretofore normal writing mode, and that peculiar frisson accompanying the exposition of insights in coherent and meaningful patterns and insights drawn from experiences dictated in part by curiosity and compulsion to understand the embodied encounter with the grist of a life as it evolves under a unique constellation of forces and environments.

When we’re up to par, we live to write and we write to live.

Journalism’s been our way of exploring the world and asking the questions we’re impelled to ask on behalf of anyone who’s curious to understand forces at play in the world around them.

With a passion to understand and a bone-deep sense of obligation, journalism was just the ticket. Talk about your professional student — and getting paid for it, too!

All of which is to say that stringing together words is at the core of our identity.

But as the chemo strikes at our basic energy level, we find we have little problem with reading [which comes easier than screen-watching] or with conversation [which, when done right, is itself energizing], when it comes to writing out thoughts, we’ve been stumped.

Hence the light blog postings, and the end of those comprehensive EuroWatch and GreeceWatch reports.

Cannabis seems to help, abating both the nausea and allowing a greater-than-chemo-typical ability to sling words.

One thing I never would’ve imagined back in the 1960′s: My first legal cannabis purchase came with a senior discount. . .

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One response to “Chemo Chronicles: We’re halfway through it

  1. That’s funny Richard.

    I have another friend who has had an illness and he finds it helps. So I signed for keeping cannabis legal in California.

    I think you are moving towards some warm light at the end of a very long tunnel.

    Be Well!

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