Thursday, January 14, 2010
One third done and counting ...
Since I met with my doc for a check up today marking the official send of the second cycle, and thereby the one third done point in the chemo - it seems a good time to write an update. So how is it going?
(1) Chemo -
Going well. Main side effects are fatigue which has been quite tolerable so far, and a frequently bloody nose. That awful metallic/evergreen/kerosene taste has not been noticable this cycle and the rate at which my hair is falling out appears to have diminished - although it is hard to be sure since it is not nearly as noticable now that the hairs are a mere millimeter or so long.
That is what I told the doc. Here is what he told me.
The really bad fatigue tends to set in during cycles 4 and 5 (starts February 8) - so you have not really experiened fatigue yet. good you are trying to push yourself. Keep it up.
That awful taste comes and goes but by the end of the chemo most people complain that nothing tastes good. Hang in there.
The bloody nose is party due to the cold dry weather and much attributable to the avastin (the experimental drug).
The remaining hairs are probably in the dormant cycle. When they move back into the active growth cycle they, too, will all fall out.
So actually I am not being heroic or even doing a great job. I just have not hit the hard part yet. Oh well. I can always pretend.
(2) Other developments -
Went to the post office today where they assured me that indeed, the hand knit caps that Nancy B mailed from New York on Jan 4 should have arrived by now. I am not giving up hope that they are simply delayed in transit, but...it looks possibly grim.
Hosted West Texas Chapmans sister in law Debbie and niece Louisa M last weekend when they came out so Louisa could participate in auditions to become a professional ballerina. We are confident she was brilliant. Apparently some of her fellow auditioners recognized her as the poster girl for the ballet summer intensive she attended last summer - posters were hanging on the wall.
Nephew Judson spent Sat afternoon helping me hang pictures and things (well actually I was not doing a lot of help outside of just pointing out where to hang them) and stayed for dinner with his Texas cousins. The place looks better now but I seem to have more things that need to be hung than I have wall space. Still working on how to solve that problem.
Arkansas Walker cousins are now planning a trip out to visit and drive me to chem on Feb 15. That should be about the time my doc predicts I will learn what real fatigue is all about, but they assure me they are prepared to cope with it.
Balsam has adopted the little stuffed and formerly white seal that came in the CARE package from Gina in Seattle. He has carried it continually for a couple of weeks now and seems very fond of his baby. Although he does have an occasional tendency to pick it up by the back of the neck and shake it vigorously and repeatedly. Which may explain why on the multiple occasions that Jake has captured a possum that appeared to be dead if I made him put it down and come in, and checked back in an hour the 'dead" possum would ahve gotten up and run away. While on the only occasion that Balsam managed to capture a possum that, based on prior Jake experience I assumed to be playing dead, and I made him put it down and come inside - the next morning it was still lying on the ground doing a very convincing job of playing dead...
the little stuffed seal, in addition to changing from white to something closer to brown, has progressively lost a nose, an eye, and much of its stuffing. Balsam still seems devoted which perhaps proves that indeed, even for canines, love is blind and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
that's about all the news that is fit to print. Thanks again for all your support.