Tuesday, August 21, 2012


SIT-REP 08-21-12 I have begun my second Chemo-Therapy session.

I haven't posted about my cancer since the first treatment, July 31st. There have been some developments.

FIRST, "Chemo week" begins on Monday with preparation pills. Tuesday is chemo day. Tuesday through Thursday is nausea pills fun time. Thursday through Monday I give myself subcutaneous injections for white blood cell production. So the chemical treatment lasts a whole week, Monday to Monday.

SECOND, Because my heart is unable to withstand the more aggressive schedule I have been changed to a every-three-weeks schedule. Since I'd been originally been told I'd need eight sessions, I expected to finish on Christmas week. However, my oncologist informed me that I'd only need six sessions on this particular medication schedule. That means I only have four more to go. I'll be done by the middle of November, giving us all something to be thankful for this year.

THIRD, My hair is GONE. Funny, I last had chemo three weeks ago, but the effect on my hair did not happen until two weeks afterward. Last Tuesday my hair began to fall like a bad case of dandruff. By Friday I put on a hat to hide the Agent Orange-style deforestation (gruesome picture to follow). 

FOURTH, Following chemo on Tuesday I self-administer subcutaneous shots for five days--Thursday through Monday--to stimulate white blood cell production. This has the effect of putting my bone marrow into high gear. If feels a bit like a bad case of arthritis and was the worst part of chemo week as far as I was concerned. I'm only supposed to take Tylenol which I find useless. However, my oncologist approved Advil which I prefer. Since I'm performing a wedding in San Diego this weekend I'm praying I feel much better this time.

FIFTH, Since chemo is every three weeks, the two weeks between "chemo week" is like a vacation; I resumed many of my normal activities and swim laps for thirty minutes nearly every day. I'm hoping that the exercise--which I was not able to do between surgery and the first chemo--will mitigate pain this time around.

SIXTH, Fight's ON!

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