Monday, August 3, 2009

Chemo

Here's the cocktail:


Chemotherapy is usually - always? - a combination of powerful, toxic drugs - and the cocktail is different for different types of cancer. These drugs are basically poison. It's ironic that in order to treat somebody for cancer, they have to nearly kill that person.

There are lots and lots of possible side effects associated with each of these drugs. Most people do not experience all of the possible side effects, but everyone experiences at least some. Nobody gets through it unscathed.

If most people are like me, the side effect they commonly associate with chemo is the severe nausea. Before Michael had cancer, that's what I thought about when I thought about chemo: nausea and hair loss. But there are lots of other side effects, and they can all be debilitating.

Michael hasn't had a lot of nausea - some, but not too bad. What he mostly experiences with his chemo is debilitating fatigue which hangs on to varying degrees but seems to hit the hardest about three days after he sits with the IV drip; and neuropathy, which is peripheral nerve pain and other freakiness (loss of sensation; hypersensitivity to cold; shortness of breath; the sensation that the throat is closing and/or the chest is tightening; mouth sensitivity and/or sores).

Just to give people a better understanding, you know?

Last Thursday, Michael could barely get out of bed. He was down for the count all day. Since then, he has steadily improved as the chemo slowly leaves his system. Until next time. Some side effects, however, are just now taking hold.

But he's feeling well enough that he went into the office for a few hours today. And he and I are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate his birthday, which is tomorrow.





5 comments:

Larry said...

Hope he had an ok day at work and you two have a terrific time at dinner tonight - HAPPY B-DAY MICHAEL!! Lisa

jmor25 said...
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Kristin said...

Chemo sucks! I hope that he is feeling better for his birthday. You all are on my mind all the time. Oh and I love the new hair.

Taryl said...

Poor Michael! I can't imagine how hard it must be for a hard worker like him to be nearly bedbound like that. How wonderful that he is managing to get back to work, however gradually.

You all, kids included, are total troopers in this.

Carla said...

Cancer is evil and that "cocktail" sounds incredibly intense! I hope he did okay at work. Hugs.