The Cancer Book: Chemotherapy, Round Two
Let’s get ready to rumble!
Actually, after dealing with chemotherapy, round one, I’d be happy with a lot less rumbling – rumbling here used as a euphemism for frequent vomiting and explosive diarrhea. And let’s not forget being just plain wiped out and bone weary for days after the treatments.
Either way, with the positive energy and just plain cheerleading of wife Rochelle, I managed to get my mind right and believe that this second round of cancer treatment would work a lot better than the first.
We were certainly ready this time. Like a good cancer warrior, I made sure to be hydrated to the gills, and had packed in as much extra eating as I could stand before we arrived at the oncology facility. Rochelle packed our iPads, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and anything else we thought would help us pass the time while I absorbed my cancer meds. The nurses were nice enough to give me a bed and a small room where Rochelle and I passed our day. The highlight of the afternoon was Rochelle, picking random popcorn kernels off my shirt and the bed as I ate noisily away (tip: a black t-shirt may be badass, but is not well suited for popcorn eating).
Seven hours later, it was done. Three bags of saline, two different types of cancer poison, and one packet of anti-nausea fluid had dripped into my system via the mini-port which had been installed in my chest for this occasion. As a bonus, nurses sent me home hooked up to a portable pump which contained a continuous low dose of yet another cancer-fighting poison. That pump would be removed three days later. Oddly enough, this drug is called something-something FU. FU? Really? Is that an FU to cancer, or to my digestive system? We shall see.
Upshot: This round has been a lot easier.
I haven’t thrown up (yet), explosive diarrhea grenades have yet to be launched, and I’ve had a bunch more energy than the first time ’round. Rochelle and I are both cautiously optimistic about the treatments. However, my oncologist has scheduled a scan to see just what good the chemotherapy is doing. This is the scary part. The test. Kind of like when you see if your score is good enough to get you into college, or like a job application where you’ve answered all the questions correctly and you win a big prize. Or where they just kind of shake their heads and won’t look you in the eye.