Monday, June 04, 2012

Back on the cancer train. Woo. Woo.

Wow, I've been incredibly lax about posting lately, haven't I? Well, I have a pretty good excuse: I'm playing the Cancer Card.

Yep, the Lump is back, and has taken residence in a jaw muscle that controls how well I can open my mouth (current status: not very much). After an MRI, PET, CT, and biopsy, the plan was to hit it with radiation.

And then my radiation oncologist decided the area that needed re-radiation was too great (it's considered risky to do radiation in the same spot twice), so now we're doing chemo first to melt it down to a more zappable size.

Which means I get to go back through the entirety of the same treatment as last year.

Which means that I get to have a chemo port fitted. Again. This afternoon.

To understand how little I want this, you'd have to understand how delighted and relieved I was to have the previous one removed last September. It makes me feel like I have an alien implant. I hated it.

But what can you do? The port means I'll be able to have induction chemo at home, which involves being hooked up to a bag of drugs attached to a pump that I carry around in a nifty shoulder purse for a few days. The alternative is a five-day inpatient stay. You may remember how I felt about the hospital food last time.

I've already had one quick shot of chemo. A few weeks back, we tried a different cocktail (more like a wine cooler: chemo lite) to see if it would have an effect. It didn't. Which is a shame, because the side effects were minimal, at least until this week when my hair started to fall out.

The stuff I'll be starting next (and by "next" I mean "tomorrow") will be either the same as last year or a variation on it. Worse side effects, but a better result.

Despite this very crappy news, I'm feeling pretty sanguine. Again, what can you do? Getting upset isn't going to make things better. And while I realize I'm employing selective memory here, I feel like there were good days last time around.

Yes, there were bad days, and painful days, and miserable days. But there were also days I got to be with friends, and days where I played music, and days where I laughed and watched movies and read books and felt like a normal person.

When we first started this whole process again, and were trying to wrap our heads around it, The Boy wondered whether this was like having a second child: The hard work of learning how to cope has been done, and this time we have a much better idea of what to expect. I like that approach.

So I'll be posting about going through this experience agian, but also about other stuff (I still have a million photos from our trip to Spain to post, and there's another insane three-hour meal to tell you about).

Hope you'll stay along for the ride!



Blogger fringe benefit said...

You bet...we wouldn't miss a moment of this adventure. Because as awful as it is, nobody can tell this tale with the same humor and skill that you can. That said, deeply sorry you have to put up with this again, love. Will you be home for an extended period? Need books and movies? ktl

10:59 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Hi Carolyn,,
We're in for the ride -- have you seen the Japanese film Tampopo? (food movie about noodles - very funny spoof on the spaghetti western.)

Bother than your awesomeness is diverted by this - but we'll toast its end harder this time, and mean it too.

Hope to see you soon!

3:07 PM  
Anonymous jo said...

I've always followed along and cheered or jeered when appropriate (damn you no taste buds) and though we don't 'know' each other I'd like to say I'm along for the ride to cheer and jeer again. To quote my friends outspoken 15 year old son who got in trouble for yelling this in school last year during an assembly..."CANCER SUCKS".

8:41 PM  
Blogger Tracie said...

Best of luck on the journey! You can do it!!!

10:19 PM  
Blogger Saul Wisnia said...

We miss you Carolyn. I thought of you tonight when I had a quick pre-movie dinner at the "Friendly Toast" in Kendall Square. Wonderful atmosphere, amazingly cool bar service, and an out-of-this-world roast beef sandwich. Hang in there and stay away from that hospital food -- especially the lime jello.

12:19 AM  

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