Chemo is like a box of chocolates…

So, here I am, Wednesday after a Chemo Monday, and I don’t feel so crappy.  Maybe it’s because I’m looking forward to having my 5-FU unhooked in a few hours.  Maybe it’s because on Monday I was given my meds in a different order.  Maybe it’s because, in addition to atropine I was also given a dose of hydrocortisone before the offensive CPT-11.  Maybe it’s because I’m looking forward to a possible trip to New York in a couple of weeks.

Or maybe, it’s just “because.”

Whatever it is, I’m grateful that this time wasn’t as bad as last.  Sure, there were some dry heaves and my head is hurting and I did sleep until 10:30 this morning.  But, again it’s not as bad as it was two weeks ago.  Let’s take it as a good omen.

And, while I’m on the topic of “gratitude,” I think it’s important to recognize that some cancer patients struggle with the concept, in general.  One blogger I follow, writes about it a lot.  She is dealing with breast cancer and is quite vociferous in her defense of the position that there is no one “correct” way to handle it.  (Oh, and by the way, if you think I don’t deal well with the well-intentioned advice of maintaining a positive attitude, I dare you to suggest the same to her.  Go on; I dare you.)


Chemo Monday was off to a decent start, albeit with the usual pre-chemo stress which bubbled up while we were at a gas station filling up.  It seems some inconsiderate truck-driving moron decided to park in such a way as to prevent anyone from lining up at any of the pumps, except the first.  So, I started yelling at the pump jockey who really couldn’t help. But then the gas station manager heard me, came out to tell me the truck will be moved and then offered me a nice cold bottle of water to cool down. He then cautioned me not to have a cigarette as he didn’t want me to become more jumpy than I already was.

Nice guy.

Anyway, we decided not to leave the house too early, so as not to have to deal with traffic. Plus, Tammy had called ahead to make sure my blood test results were in, so, when I presented myself at the reception desk, I was immediately sent in to have my blood pressure and urine checked. That proved to be the longest waiting period of the morning.

As usual, Monday is slightly insane in the chemo day care unit, and it took a while for someone to notice me.  But once my presence was known, things got rocking and rolling.  I ate, watched a little YouTube, played a game or two, and by 2:30 I was on my way out the door.

There are some really amazing people in the world.  In the past, I’ve written about a women who we sometimes see making the rounds in the chemo rooms, visiting patients and those who accompany them.  She represents no organization and has no financial backing other than her own.  And with the warmest of smiles and fullest of hearts, this ultra-orthodox woman offers snacks and drinks to anyone and everyone.  On Monday she brought three of her daughters with her as she made the rounds.  It was great to see this woman teaching her children how to perform this incredible good deed, but I have a feeling this is only one of countless that she demonstrates for them in action and not only in words.

One final shout-out.  A side effect of CPT-11 is mouth sores.  And they hurt.  The common treatment is to rinse the mouth with salt water or mouthwash.  The former doesn’t seem to do much and the latter literally brings tears to my eyes.  A little over one year ago, Tammy had a chance encounter with Dr. Gabriel Nussbaum, Director of Scientific Affairs at Izun Pharma, who was developing a mouth rinse designed to help chemo patients.  He shared a week’s supply with me then.  It was like magic.  So, this week, I’m using the herbal rinse again, and the worst thing I can say about it is that it feels a little bit like swirling salad dressing around in my mouth for 60 seconds three times a day.  I’m not sure when it will be available to the general public, but when it is, find it.

About Alan

F---ing Cancer since 2011.
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12 Responses to Chemo is like a box of chocolates…

  1. Avigail Buiumsohn says:

    May all your treatments leave you “not feeling so crappy” or even better! You have an amazing attitude Alan! Refuah Shlemah, thinking of you and Tammy lots!


  2. erica says:

    Your positive outlook never cease to amaze me. We continue to pray for your full recovery

  3. Annie says:

    As always you made my day.

  4. Ari / Wesley Hills says:

    Keep this up and I believe you’re entitled to Patient of the Month honors, which provides a parking spot right by the door. As for the petrol station manager and his cigarette suggestion: he didn’t really care about your well being, you know. He just didn’t want his station to go up in flames.

  5. Shari Shuter-Jovani says:

    Your ‘cancer’ blog is making me laugh! My favorite was the meditation video. Wishing u only healing and a refua shleima with much happiness in your family as 120.

  6. andrea yampolsky says:

    Love that you can keep your humour and make me laugh through this shit! BTW totally LOVE the fuck that mediation. It is my new go to! xoxo

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