August 9, 2012
An interesting development over the months: When I began taking my chemo back in January, I was under the impression (as a novice why wouldn’t I be under impressions?) that my schedule of rounds was set, if not in stone, in fast-drying cement. And so, I followed the schedule with all ostensibly-due rigor.
As with all rigor, from hydrogen fusion to the best laid schemes o’ mice, mine has begun to peter. Unlike the sun, whose progeny of elements will eventually be the death of it, and the wee beastie, whose efforts are largely stymied by more massive creatures, my rigor has not so much gone awry as follow a predictable progression from stringent to relaxed.
A couple of months back, one of my nurse practitioners informed me that it wasn’t the farness of my previous round of chemo that concerned us, it was the nearness. That is to say, the rule of schedule is that I cannot begin a round of chemo any sooner than 28 days after the start of the previous round. This is to allow my body and blood counts to recover sufficiently before their next affront. (A sufficiency I aft beg to differ with.) On the other hand, there is no set date by which I must begin my round—within reason, of course.
I’ve got to say, the leeway afforded by this laxity was mighty alluring this month. I didn’t get my pills until yesterday (8th) and last night it was all I could do to pull the trigger on taking my first dose. I began to run through a variety of equations that would be optimal for minimal misery. Athletic events made their usual case: I’d want to be feeling well for the first round of the PGA Championship, the first preseason game of the Redskins, and the gold medal match for women’s soccer wouldn’t I? There was an unusual occasion to consider: the wife and child will be gone all day Saturday on a jaunt to Six Flags Over Jawja which is a long time for me to groan and moan to aught but the earless walls. (Moaning and groaning remains a rigorously attended-to feature of my monthly rounds. I like to think of this as keeping it real.)
At the end of the day, quite literally, I decided to start the inevitable. Sooner started, sooner ended. And since leaving my pills in the garbage bucket where they were immediately consigned after arrival to my doorstep is frowned upon by my support-team, the inevitable was met reluctantly. (Reluctantly—because once in a while I like to put things mildly.)
Moral-esque-ness of the story? No matter how dearly you’d love to, you cannot go to Seven Flags Over Jawja. Nor to as many over Georgia, for that matter.
August 17, 2012
In the beginning (of my journal, not the universe—though an argument can be made for the formlessness and vacuity of these proceedings), I anticipated a sharp decline of appetite that would result in weight-loss. Which weight, by the way, would not be missed upon its disappearance.
As it turns out, the yarkiness doesn’t really suppress my appetite. Not in general. Despite a net-diminishment since the outset of therapy, my weight has been making a steady resurgence in the last few months. (At the outset, I clocked in at over two bills. After two or three months, I was oscillating in the lower buck-nineties. Today, the old digital read-out claims 198—though in all fairness to me, I had to have my glasses on to see the scale. So let’s say somewhere in the upper thousandths of a bill-ninety-seven.)
First, let me confess. I have recently become addicted to soda-pop. Mostly Cola-d but sometimes Peppered—always empty-caloried. Add this intake to chemo-week, smoothie consumption and we’re scarcely surprised by the re-piling of pounds.
But there’s more to it. A phenomenon less damning of my will. Back to the suppression of appetite. I expected food, up and down its pyramid diagram, to be of equal repugnance. To revolt my gullet summarily. This has not been so. So has been this: certain foods (and for some reason green salads top the list) make me gag a bit to even think of during chemo-week much less partake of. Others (and for some reason grease-sopped cheese-burgers top this list) are wildly delicious—craved and consumed with relish. And mustard.
As any weight-watching points-counter could tell me, the numbers are against me. Compound the problem with a largely sedentary lifestyle and I must either take charge of my wayward appetite or face my amassment of flesh with abandon. And French-fries.