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If you can fill the unforgiving minute ... with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run ... Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.
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Monthly Archives: September 2007
Starting to recover from chemo.
I woke up early this morning and went running before the sun rise — which this time of year is not all that early. The sun came up as a red fireball. It then turned the sky a sort of pinkish hue — think the color of pink lemonade — and cast an interesting and unique color on some of the clouds that were stacked just like castles in the sky — pink turrets rising above Cleveland, Ohio.
It felt like July rather than September. It was humid and warm. Only the leaves on the trees (which have turned early due to drought) and the angle of the sun coming up in the east insisted that yes, it is really, finally September.
I’m not over chemo — yet. There is a stiffness in my lower back (a lingering effect probably of all that darned Neulasta actually, a white blood cell booster somewhat infamous for causing bone pain) and my own personal “achilles heel” which is actually located somewhat north of the actual tendon (i.e. my calves) were sore and complained long and loud about the pace I set. But stiffness and sore legs are a sign of being alive, so I suppose I can’t complain about them (or at least not as much as I used to do).
There are other lingering chemo effects — my mental focus is still fuzzy and hazy compared to what it was (probably from being bombarded by too much at once rather than the dreaded cloudiness known as “chemo brain”), my sense of taste isn’t all back (although I really want a big juicy hamburger), I think I smell like chemo. If I really do smell like chemo to others, they are polite enough to either not to say anything or insist that I don’t (so maybe this is my own peculiar sensitivity), but I really do think I smell of medical chemicals and that was one of the parts of this cancer-killing business that I really hated — the strange, bad chemical smell. (I suppose I could think of it as the stench of a thousand Reed-Sternberg Hodgkin’s cells dying. But really it just reminds me of what downtown Cleveland smells like on a bad air day.)
I am further convinced that I smell like chemo because the mosquitoes still don’t pay attention to me, though non-biting bugs like yellow jackets love to chase me. If the mosquitoes never again find my blood appealing, I think I can learn to live with that shunning.
One positive — other than the mosquito proofing which I’m sure will prove temporary but I hope will last until the first killing frost — is a joyous sense of being alive. It is difficult to explain, but a lot of stuff that used to bother me no longer does. A lot of stuff I used to worry about just doesn’t seem worthy of bother anymore.
I’m not yet done with the Hodge — there are blood tests and scans and doctor’s appointments to fulfill over the next couple weeks — reminders of treatment. But I’ve reached the end of the worst part; the clean up is all that remains.
I am officially done with chemotherapy! I had treatment number sixteen today. I'm tired and nauseous like I usually am after a chemo session, but hopefully I will never have to undergo chemotherapy again. And that's definitely helping me feel better.
We crushed the Hodge, jumped on its dead body, and it better not ever come back!
And, as you can see, I still have hair. A LOT of hair. My oncologist promised it was all going to fall out, but it never did. It is a lot thinner than it was, though.
I can't believe I am done. I am sooooo happy to be done!
Wow, am I tired. In a way, chemo has definitely gotten worse as I've gone along, at least as far as the nausea and fatigue goes. On the other hand, I also feel better than when I started because I was so sick from the Hodge when I started treatment.
I just have to get through one more session of chemo. And then I get a rest.
I can't wait to be done with chemo.