Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I wrote this update yesterday morning but got distracted and didn't post it. Since the writing, I managed to read 3 journal articles, go to a meeting and out to dinner (and eat a burrito, the most delicious of all possible non-candy foods), and generally function like a fairly normal human being. Go Team Me!

(Begin Monday's update) Sum total of the tasks I have accomplished in the past 15 hours: boil pasta, load the dishwasher, take the dogs out.

Sum total of the tasks I have accomplished in the past 6 days: same as above. Looks like the metaphorical grey skies are starting to clear up.

Other awesome things about today:
1) I've been awake for 3 hours and haven't been compelled to nap.
2) I managed to take my meds (nausea was keeping me from taking them earlier in the week).
3) I took a shower instead of a bath (which is the shower for people too nauseous to stand up for 10 minutes).
4) I drank some caffeine.

I worry, sometimes, when I write updates like this, it sounds like I'm saying, "Poor me. My life is so hard that I can't even do normal things like load the dishwasher," but this isn't at all what I'm trying to imply. I feel more like, "Life is amazing and just getting better! Look at all of this stuff that I managed to do today that I couldn't do yesterday! I'm a champion!" It also imbues all of these normal, dreary tasks with a sense of drama and challenge. So, instead of having to load the dishwasher as a normal chore, now when I load the dishwasher, it's this awesome thing that I managed to accomplish. It makes my life seem full of little victories all of the time. It's really neat in a way.

News about this cycle so far. Well, clearly, the first 6 days pretty much kicked me to the curb. Apparently, nausea is worse for women, people under 50, and people prone to motion sickness. So basically, me. I pretty much couldn't get off the couch at all because standing for more than a few seconds made me retch.

Besides the nausea, I haven't had a lot of other symptoms. I've been really dizzy, but I suspect that's because I haven't been taking my Effexor. Apparently, dizziness is a withdrawal symptom. My nose is still intermittently bloody and kind of painful, but that's because I'm still getting the Avastin. My fingernails hurt (I know, right?). And, of course, fatigue continues to hang around.

One weird thing, that may be a result of the Effexor withdrawal or not taking my Ritalin, is that grammar seems really screwy. I've been having some problems finding my words since I started chemo, but now, I'm having difficulty figuring out how how words fit together. It's not terrible when I read, although I do notice it, but I feel like my writing is particularly scrambled. Isn't that an odd side effect? I would probably make an interesting subject for a psycholinguistics study right now. Also, if this update makes no sense, that's why.

(Aside: As someone who is interested in cognition and learning, this whole chemo brain phenomena has been really fascinating. It's been especially interesting to experience this in an academic context. At some point, when my grammar gets back on track, I'd like to write a little essay about it.)

And in other news, my hair has started to grow back. My doctor assures me that it will fall out again within the next week or so, but it's really super soft right now. On the one hand, I'm reassured that it will grow back after chemo is over. On the other, I have no idea what I did with my razor.

Okay - Back to Tuesday again - Jay-Z, who NPR listeners will recognize as the United States of the rap game, is coming to State College, but tickets are sold out. As many of you know, I'm a pretty big Jay-Z fan, so I'm currently soliciting ways to use the cancer card to finagle tickets. Do I contact Jay Z's people with a sob story about how I was so sick with chemo that I couldn't get them or do I cry to the school? Please send me your ideas.

Yours truly,
The Liechtenstein of the rap game


  1. If you're able to contact the Jay-Z people with your 'sob story' you may get backstage passes and meet and greet with the deal.. I'd go for that one, though maybe putting eggs in both baskets would be the best idea.

  2. Try hitting up his Facebook page??