With my hand on the wheel and my brain in neutral . . .

Post Numeral #19

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Diary of My Death, Post #19

Treatment Days 169-182, Chemo infusion #14 (two weeks later)

Good news!  My blood test numbers are still improving!  That’s more evidence that indeed my blossoming superpower is “fighting cancer”!

Two good things immediately came out of this good news.  First, my doctor reduced my chemo dosage again!  The treatment is still “a bit of a bother,” but it is noticeably easier to take.  Second, this time around, and this time only (at least for a while), we’re going to extend the time between treatments from two to three weeks.  I get an extra week of feeling mostly normal!  I’ve been getting tired of being so damned chemo-tired, so this decision to push the next treatment has definitely lifted my spirits.

Okay, so here are my notes for this cycle:

Monday – Doctor visit and Chemo infusion

Tuesday – Actually went outside and walked over to the neighbors for a short visit.  NEVER have I left home, or even thought of being sociable, the day after a chemo!  I do wonder if it was the steroids that accompany the chemo that gave me the energy on Tuesday.  I do not know if their dosage was reduced.  I don’t care, though: it was a more palatable way to go!

Wednesday – Went to hospital for the routine removal of the portable chemo pump connection from the port in my chest (sort of like the plugs in Neo’s body in The Matrix).  Otherwise puttered, putzed, and napped.

Thursday – although I slept mostly through Wednesday night, nonetheless I slept a lot on Thursday.  It was a sunny, warm, beautiful spring day, but I didn’t even want to sit outside.  In the morning I was zonked out in bed, and after lunch I was zonked out in bed.  I was up for a couple of hours and then again slept mostly through the night.

Friday – pretty much the same as Thursday, not much more than sleep, sleep, and sleep.  These two days of nearly constant sleep weren’t bad at all.  I mean, if you’re going to feel like crap, you might as well be effectively unconscious, right?

Saturday – a nap or two (hey, we’re talking about me, right?), but the Binge Sleeping was over and done.  I didn’t do much of anything, though.  I updated my To Do list, took a shower, looked at my sink full of rinsed but dirty dishes, and decided that was as productive as I was going to get.  I felt lazy.

Sunday – Woke up, had coffee, then immediately went back to bed until nearly noon.  After lunch, I did the dishes! (By hand, mind you; remember, I live on a boat and do not have a dishwashing machine.)  To celebrate my mountain of accomplishment, I didn’t do a damn thing the rest of the day!  Another lazy day.

That’s the chemo week, and that’s about how long it takes for me to do more than sleep, suck air, and daydream.  The next week was much better, almost normal.

Monday – ran some errands and then pooped out.  Afternoon nap, then a little bit of productivity, and then I gave in to laziness and watched Netflix all evening.

Tuesday – ran some more errands, and as I was driving caught myself moving my body to the rhythm of the radio, “car dancing”, (which is where I do my best dancing because it is mostly in my mind where I move fluidly and gracefully in such a charming manner as opposed to in real life where I lose my balance and twist my legs into pretzel formations and trip nearby dancers.  Really, there have been lawsuits.)  Felt pretty damn good and energetic, but then pooped out completely in late afternoon.

Wednesday – made another pass at the next level of personal archeology, purging some more belongings and going through boxes of photos that I’ve told myself , “I’ll sort through those in the quiet of this winter” . . . for the past 10, 15, 20 winters . . .  Again, late in the afternoon, early in the evening, I just pooped out and went into Lazy Mode.

Thursday – went to the laundromat.  In addition to my clothes, I washed some salvaged canvas I can make into something even if it’s only utility bags.  It bothers me to see perfectly good or usable stuff just thrown away to be buried in a landfill.  I pick it up and put it away for projects I’ll never get to – ya, it IS a sickness.

Friday – worked on my 1998 Toyota.

First, in the morning I caught a ride to fetch a new battery.  This was planned, because these days I casually use a budget for my time and energy.

Then, because of rusted bolts and access issues, and, okay, my clumsiness, it took me four hours to free the convoluted pipe from the gas tank to the pump nozzle receiver.  Once unattached, removing it from the maze of frame struts, hydraulic brake lines, and various under-car parts was very much a puzzle: maybe if I twist it this way, move this end up and over, then twist it the other way . . . There is no doubt that this piece was originally installed pre-assembly of the body to the frame.  In fact, I’m 100% sure that the factory built the entire vehicle around this convoluted pipe!

Fuel Filler Tubes 450

I was replacing this piece because the vent pipe was holed or clogged, which forced gas station nozzles to shut off after only a few seconds.  I timed myself the other day: it took 31 minutes to pump $10 of gas.  According to online forums, this is the problem’s most common cause.  I hope it works!

Saturday – installed the new fuel filler pipe.  It took maybe only an hour.  Hard to say because I had a number of visitors: it was, after all, a weekend at the marina!  Mostly it was people I knew, for whom I’d crawl out from under my vehicle to talk.  There were others, though, like the cute child who took an interest in my array of wrenches splayed over the gravel.  The wrenches were within my reach . . . I shimmied out from under and we played with the tools while the mother and I chatted . . . so, with various kinds of company, one hour of work took all afternoon, but I didn’t mind at all.

Camouflage Nap 450

Nap Master’s Journal: Camouflage Nap!

Sunday – very rainy day, the kind of day made for listening to the raindrops on the rooftop, taking long naps, drinking coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon as I work at my laptop, and repeatedly indulging in small doses of “medicine” (dark chocolate.)

A few free-floating notes:

  • My fingers and feet are tingling near constantly now, and my fingers are a little numb.  I haven’t been dropping things, but my fingers aren’t working quite right, which is a bit worrisome for someone who has much to do with his laptop, writing and internet work!  It’s been warmer outside, in the 50s and 60s and few bumps up into the 70s, so this tingling and numbness makes me afraid of next winter!  Also, it makes me wonder how sick am I, really?  Is the cancer doing a little rock-step backwards just to come at me with more momentum?
  • There’s what I think is a metallic taste in my mouth, and overall my taste has changed, so although my appetite is fine as far as me being hungry, food just isn’t as fun.
  • Constipation is a real pain in the ass.

And that’s it.  Tomorrow begins my “extra” week.  I’m expecting to feel better and be productive!

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