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Hi, welcome to the 4th part of my cancer diary series.  Today we'll look at how chemo changes things for awhile, toss in some quips and annotations, and in general try to convey how grumpy you can get.

Oh, it isn't a bad, mean sort of grumpiness, it's a lot more boredom related.  Recovering from cancer is a slow process that takes months if not years.  That process can place some limitations on activities you used to take for granted.  Plus, chemo places stresses on your immune system that require caution or abstaining from what was a normal duty around the house...like cleaning the catbox which is a no-no now, but it is damn difficult to convince your better half or grown children to do this sometimes unpleasant job for you.

Chemo gets a bad rap due to folks thinking they will be wracked with horrible nausea right off the bat, and reduced to a puke covered basket case with the hair falling out.  It doesn't go that way.  Let's jump.

Starting chemo requires a port be installed under your skin and connected to your jugular.  On the one hand this is a surgical procedure that will hurt after the operation, and on the other hand a great blessing as it keeps the vampires away from poking needles in your arms.  

The first chemo is generally pretty anti-climatic.  You don't have much trouble at all as your body hasn't started to fight itself yet.  One thing you might notice is a tendency to get chillblains like cold...shivering, teeth chattering cold to such an extent that you just want to climb under an electric blanket (don't do that).  I found that simply getting under some covers and relaxing did a fair job of getting ahead of this "big chill."

Another difficulty is that you are going along puttering around the house and getting some housework completed when just like someone turned off a switch you sort of wilt like old lettuce.  Take frequent breaks and drink lots of water, LOTS of it!  Your ankles will likely swell up after the second bout of chemo injection, but drink that water anyway...not soda, water...if you need fizz try Canada Dry or Poland Spring sparkling water...no booze, just the water...this usually helps end the fizzy craving, oh and lay off the diet stuff, you CAN live without aspartame, really.  The water keeps your kidneys working and flushes out all sorts of junk including the excess chemo drug which if left to sit around inside you for too long can raise hell with your kidneys.  You don't need that...water is your friend.

Around the third infusion, your body starts to fight itself a bit and this can be unpleasant in terms of activities, leg swelling is a big issue.  After three infusions you generally take a week off the regimin and during the idle week, you go for labs and a meet/progress report with your Doctor or RNP.  Then the chemo regime starts again.

Oh boy, here we go again!  Three on, one off.

Basically though, cancer is not something you want to get, or deal with.  Even with multiple insurance this disease means a significant loss of income, and terrific financial strain upon your entire family which can play on your mind a lot more than than the sickness itself.  It brings families together, but for an independent minded guy it is still a strain, though I have to admit my family was the single most important thing that helped me cope, besides prayer.

Now during all of this trouble, I have been watching the news and I can't believe how much outright, not even hidden, kabuki is going on and further how plainly terrible this kabuki is!  

The Republican "Presidential" foo-fa-rah is single biggest oxygen sucking, news cycle perpetuated kabuki on the scene...what a collection of 2nd rate clowns and has-beens all locked in a rugby scrum of utter silliness that would revolt a Bennie Hill!  You know it is bad when Jon Huntsman is literally the smartest guy in the room and no one takes him seriously.  No, the pubbie know-nothing faithful want a Herm The Molester Cain, or a Rick Bad Brain Perry, or Newt Sign the papers, cancer dolly Gingrich.  That otherwise sensible news people would even deign to talk to Michelle Bachmann or Ron Paul or any of them for that matter smells and looks like bad kabuki to me.

Speaking of big time Kabuki, how about the Eurozone business...I will leave you with one thought...Who stands to gain if the Euro flies south?  I don't think it is Canada!

Isn't it great how Mikey Bloomberg just breathes new life into the Occupy Wall Street movement so much that OWS protesters dressed like Eskimoes will be pounding around Zucotti Park all winter.  I have a feeling there is some kabuki going on here too.  I expect Associated Press to put in doctored and plant stories about how OWS is dying, AP is both unserious and untrustworthy, and yesterdays offering on the Verizon Mobil Link news about "flagging OWS" is a clear example, but what am I to make of Bloomberg's actions?  Be that as it may, that Bloomy would so profoundly uplift OWS is stunning.  I think Bloomers wants it both ways; on the one hand he wants to look like a tough guy and on the other he wants to keep this attention getting protest going.  When you try a stunt like that, that's kabuki baby!

Super-Congress?  Pardon me but...Bbbbbwaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!  Super-Congress my ass.  Sick Kabuki filled with overwrought auserity pleas and fantastic nonsense in the face of what clearly must be done...cap off from Social Security tax, expansion of a National Healthcare Insurance Plan, closure of loopholes and the end of Chimpy McFlightsuit's ruinous tax breaks for go-zillionaires.  That smart people can sit through these super-congress charades is beyond me, unless this is all just towering bad kabuki for the traditional media to slobber over.

Somebody stepped on Karl Rove's tail I see on Countdown.  That Karl would call anyone arrogant is high comedy, Arrogant has Karl's picture next to its definition in Webster's doesn't it?  But Karl can keep on being arrogant, and bringing us bad kabuki like the Republican "Presidential" campaign.  The Republican base is not so easily herded this time.  Karl let the way outs and Birchers in and now he has his hands full of unelectable ideologues and freaks loaded down with plenty of partisanship and way too light on reasoning power.  Oh, he could have kept the loons out and his house goofies in line, but he didn't.  It will be several election cycles before Karl gets his hut back in order to where all paths lead to him again.  For now, he wants to be a money man, and that may make him feel important, and I suppose he is in some circles, but in the end he's a sideshow now...well monied, but still a sideshow.  The freaks are running the circus now and Karl is a popcorn hawker...that's quite a fall as I see it.

Well, time to get ready for the chemo.

See you all later and have a great day!  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Margd, Avila, fcvaguy, cfk, elkhunter

    Today, 11-3-11, 7592 US and allied soldiers, and untold Iraqis and Afghans are dead. Pres. Obama, you inherited Bush's lies, now stop the madness.

    by boilerman10 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:18:34 AM PST

  •  Have a great day! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, cfk

    Stay healthy and don't be afraid to see the doctor now and then!

    Today, 11-3-11, 7592 US and allied soldiers, and untold Iraqis and Afghans are dead. Pres. Obama, you inherited Bush's lies, now stop the madness.

    by boilerman10 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:34:33 AM PST

  •  Stay Strong! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boilerman10, Avila, cfk

    I, too, am living with cancer - stage 4 pancreatic - and almost through with 12 rounds of intensive chemo. One point I will add to your post is that the negative effects, while manageable, are cumulative and that means the recovery process is longer each time. The good news is that the chemo buys some time (at least for me) and recovery does, in fact, occur. I advocate maintaining a positive attitude, accepting the support and love of family and friends, and using humor whenever possible to "change the frame." As a wise literary theorist, Kenneth Burke, once put it, "when confronting a crisis, there are only two responses - comedy or tragedy. But comedy is the only response that offers hope."

    I maintain a blog about my journey through Cancerland at http://www.hlgoodall.com/...

    Good luck and stay strong!
    Dr. Bud

  •  You can do this! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boilerman10, Avila, cfk

    When I was in cancer treatment a number of years ago, they had a picture on the waiting room wall of Lance Armstrong in his yellow jersey on his way to winning the Tour de France for the first time post-cancer. It helped. His book "It Isn't About the Bike" is pretty good too, once you get past the snarky 20-year-old ego.

    I also like Jon Kabat-Zinn's books on mind-body connection. My oncologist had a yoga and meditation class one evening a week in his waiting room, which made that space a blessed one rather than a fear-laden one.

    Go well and keep going.

    •  They have yoga where I go too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila, cfk

      But I am so full of degenerative arthritis that I can't do the work without terrific pain.

      I read and play on the computer a lot and walk with a cane, a lot, or as much as my knees will allow.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      big smile!

      Today, 11-3-11, 7592 US and allied soldiers, and untold Iraqis and Afghans are dead. Pres. Obama, you inherited Bush's lies, now stop the madness.

      by boilerman10 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:54:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  McFlightsuit. Snort (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boilerman10, Avila

    Like the first name too but my phone keeps changing it to "chunky"

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