Chemo – cycle 2

As expected, I had a fairly good weekend. I was up and around quite a bit, but did run out of energy and still needed some occasional naps. I am now on day 3 of my full week of chemo, and am finding that I am feeling the effects a bit faster than I did the first time around. The last time I had the full week of treatments, I didn’t really start feeling the effects until Thursday. This time, I started feeling tired yesterday (Tuesday), and am feeling it much more today. I am already finding it hard to concentrate, and just to take the time to write this is causing me to have to focus more than normal.

I am very glad that I got the PICC line. It has been very nice to just hook me up in the morning without have to get stuck with a needle. My right arm, which hadn’t had any needles since just over 3 weeks ago, is finally just about back to normal – yesterday was the first day that I could extend that arm without feeling pain at the elbow. The vein had just hardened up from the I/V, and it was in almost constant dull pain, which would turn to a sharp pain when I extended my arm. The PICC line is taking care of that, as I am now on my third day with no side-effects in the vein that it empties into. I wish they had more fully explained the options before I started, as I would have chosen the PICC line right from the start.

We did have a minor scare last week, when my incision from the orchiectomy started to show some signs of infection. My doctors are very concerned about any type of infection, since my immune system is dramatically effected by the chemotherapy drugs, so we wanted to ensure that there was not a problem here. As it turned out, it was just a couple of stitches working themselves out of my body. I am not sure why they didn’t dissolve like they were supposed to – maybe that has something to do with my blood cells working overtime on the cancer, and ignoring the stitches. That is just a guess though – Darn it, Jim, I am an engineer, not a doctor .

In an effort to maintain full disclosure, I need to mention that I had a pretty down day last week. I think this has all finally gotten to me, and I just crashed emotionally. As my kids will attest, I am a fairly emotional individual when it comes to things close to the Spirit, and I tend to get chocked up when talking about spiritual matters. However, it has been a very long time since I just felt like crying for no reason. Last week I had one of those days. It was not from asking “why me”, or anything like that – I was just down and depressed about things in general. It passed fairly quickly, and I am back to my normal self now. It was strange to be in such a funk and not know how to get out of it, so I just slept through it.

Overall, I am still doing well physically. I am feeling more nauseous this time, but still have not been sick to my stomach yet. I am more tired this time around than I was last time, but I am still keeping up with work tasks and meetings, and seem to be handling the treatments well. My hair is falling out slowly, but for some reason my eyebrows have not yet been affected. Strange.

I think that is all I have for an update this week. I am expecting the next few days, probably trough the weekend, to be the toughest yet. We’ll see if that turns out to be true. I hope I am not setting myself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy, but rather just being the pragmatist that I am.

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