Monday, September 29, 2008

Wishful thinking and reality, sometimes its hard
to tell one from the other, that can be a good
thing. Sometimes its all to clear that reality isn't
always based on wishes, that can be bad.
The reality is that each treatment leaves me nauseous, drained, weary to a greater extent. There's a dead chemical taste in my mouth and a vague sense of dizziness that only seems to leave as the next treatment is due. My hair begins to fall out easily, my white blood cells dwindle away.
My second treatment in my right arm began to cause pain and damage my veins, so they switched to my left for the third. Much less willing to put up with it, my left arm hurt at once. The pain increased daily until it felt like broken glass was being pushed through the veins of an already beaten arm. On the thursday before my fourth chemotherapy treatment I went into surgery again, this time to have a port implanted in my chest. This port bypasses my arms, lies under the skin of my chest, and a catheter leads from it to feed the chemicals directly to an artery into my heart to be pumped into my body. Isn't it weird to poison a body in the hopes that what you want to kill is weaker than what you want to save and will die just in time to to let the other live?
So there's my dose of reality for you. Now I'm halfway though chemotherapy.
The last two weeks were hard. I am so grateful for the companionship that got me through it, that allowed the best part of wishful thinking to be a bit more of my reality.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

 I was just walking home, watching the moon rise over the hump of McClaren Park's summit as I waited to cross a busy street. In the distance, the eastern most shoulder of San Bruno Mountain glowed the tawny beige of mourning doves, deep blue gray shadows, creamy yellow highlights, purple and pink irridescence. The gray fingers of fog spreading east but neither advancing or withdrawing over what remained of the bird egg blue sky. The nearer buildings of the city glowing white in what sun still shown across the fog, lighting the rising moon white as well.
   Ive been asked if I know what caused the cancer: was it toxic fumes from painting, genetics, a badly timed broken heart? I don't really know, and don't really care. It's there and that is what I have to deal with.
   So tomorrow is my third chemotherapy treatment, this would be three of eight. After the last treatment in November I begin radiation therapy... and then? Hopefully it's over.
   I've been lucky so far. The side effects have been pretty mild:  nausea, more easily tired, perhaps a bit light headed at times. I still have hair... and it's pretty hard to put a dent in my appetite! Thats pretty good when you get a quart of DNA destroying, mitosis disrupting poison pumped in your veins every two weeks. 
Well, I'm not even half way yet...