Wednesday, September 9, 2009

AC (Slater)

Another 2 updates in 2 days? What have you done to deserve this? Probably something quite bad.

Things I've learned since my last update.
1) My new chemo regimen is referred to as AC in cancer circles (As you know, I didn't just learn this, but I'm providing exposition). It's a drug combination which consists of something that starts with an A, which looks like red Kool-Aid that they inject with a syringe (i.e., not an IV, so I get to sit awkwardly while the nurse pushes the drug and try not to make creepy eye contact) into my port, and Cytoxan, which looks normal but has a particularly distressing name. This regimen was developed in like the 1930s (the nurse told me the exact date, but I mostly retained that it was old).

1.1) I like to envision people wearing fedoras and drinking martinis while listening to Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey and getting their infusions, because apparently the 1930s through the early 1960s are pretty much the same to me.

1.2) Because of the change in drugs, I will not be getting Neupogen (which we knew) or Neulasta (which we didn't know). That means that during this first cycle in particular, I'll have no additional immune support and will be especially susceptible to infection. If you see me around and happen to be sick, please avoid me. I won't take it personally. I promise.

2) The Cytoxan is excreted through the urine in little grains, so if I don't drink enough water, I could pee sludge. Take the nausea you just experienced reading that sentence and multiply it times like a billion or so, and you'll have an idea of my current nausea. This is the definitely the more classic chemo experience (which makes sense given that the drugs essentially exist in a Raymond Chandler novel in my imagination), and I feel much more classically sick. I, however, am not feeling the same nerve pain, fatigue, or brain dysfunction that I usually feel on Day 1, though, so that's something. Plus, maybe the nausea will help me lose the 9 pounds I've gained since starting chemo.

2.1) If I may rant, WTF, Cancer? Chemo is supposed to leave me svelte and ready for the recently passed bathing suit season. I was expecting to not have to work to lose my wedding weight and now I have extra to lose? Why didn't I get the kind of cancer which makes the brochure on cancer nutrition ask, and I'm not making this up, "Have you considered adding whipped cream? " Yes, I have considered whipped cream, but now I'm stuck considering broccoli. I was robbed. Uncool, Cancer, uncool.

2.2) Lying on the couch complaining that you're dying is super fun when you have a cold, but it really loses something when you're feeling sick because you are actually fighting a deadly illness. It also kind of kills the joy of talking about how awesome my goth-themed funeral would be. Cancer, you ruin everything.

2.2.1) Please note: The awesome goth funeral does not depend on cause of death. I'm only talking about it less, because it's kind of morbid now. Also, if I do die of cancer or anything else, please make sure that my coffin has a giant sticker that says "NINJA DOWN" on it.

3) In order to soothe the sting of not being able to complain as much as I'd like while feeling sick, I've decided to be "strong." Actually being strong requires me to triumph in the face of adversity with little complaint. Being "strong" requires me to point out how strong I'm being when I do stuff like make a bowl of cereal. God help you all when I go to class tomorrow and take a quiz. That's like the "strongest" thing anyone with cancer has ever done. I'm like a regular freaking Lance Armstrong over here (with less juicing...sorry, I couldn't help it). I'm also going to get one of those yellow bracelets to point out how strong I'm living. (Is it bad karma to wear those ironically?)

4) Speaking of things that are fun for me and annoying for everyone else (i.e., everything I love), my friend Mike Batz made me these absolutely AMAZING actual cancer cards. They are seriously not to be believed in either their sheer awesomicity, creativity, or humor. Remind me to show them to you next time I see you. You won't regret it.

5) I will probably lose my remaining hair (referred to by my father as "a downy covering," referred to as me as a "badass chemohawk," and referred to by my friend Brendan, who is my new best friend ever, as "hot"). I really, really, really hope this happens on a weekday, because last time it was fascinating to watch. I'd love to be able to share it with friends and colleagues.

6) Since I've spent a good bit of this update talking about the negatives of cancer, I would like to point out a positive. It's allowed me to blur the line between the personal and professional, and develop personal relationships with people that would have otherwise been strictly professional. It has long been my belief that professional productivity and overall corporate culture is enhanced when co-workers view each other as friends and people, and I'm really thankful that I've gotten to see that side of people and share those sides of myself. Plus, it's been just wonderful to get to see how loving and supportive the people I work with are. I never expected anything less, but I've just been overwhelmed. (I've been overwhelmed by this in general and feel constantly blessed, but the professional support has made this whole adventure so much easier than it could have been otherwise.)

7) Shout out to my cousin Thistle who ran a race for me! You rule, This!

Okay, I'll shut up now. I fail to see how I can be so verbose in these updates and yet struggle to make length on every paper I've ever written. I fear that it may be that I love to talk about myself more than anything else, but let's just keep that between us.

No comments:

Post a Comment