You really can't go wrong with Johnny Depp in dreds and eyeshadow. And the other guy isn't so bad either. Anywhoo. Today is Christmas. I saw the Eagles beat the Cowboys on television; that was exciting. Congrats to all you Eagles fans. I spent some quality time with the family today, brothers, parents and all. Also exciting. It was good to see them together again, even if it was only in this small hospital room. Sigh, they're all growing up. Tyler in college, and James working and doing well for himself, oh life, you go by so quickly.
Today was my sixth day of chemo treatment. I'm starting to feel my body slowly disintegrate. See, here's the thing with these drugs: They're known as "non-specific." This means that they target fast-moving cells without deciding first if they are good or bad cells. Cancer cells are crazy fast little buggers. They essentially don't have the chemical stimulant that causes normal cells to stop mitosis (cell reproduction). So they just keep on doing their growing thing, gradually overtaking all of the good cells in my marrow. The chemo targets these sneaky cells: it artificially replaces the stimulant that stops their reproduction. So. The fast-growing, evil cells in my marrow stop mitosing; they die. Awesome. Not so awesome, however, is the fact that, like I said, the drugs are non-specific. Basically all rapidly reproducing cells in my body are affected. Not to the the extreme degree as the cancer cells, but they die nonetheless. Example: your mouth is one of the fastest healing parts of your body. If you cut your tongue or bite your cheek, it heals itself quickly and easily. The chemo, however, takes these happy cells and tells them, "No, no, I see you as bad. I'm going to kill you. Die, cheek cells! Die!" Or something to that extent. So lots of cancer patients get mouth-sores. I haven't gotten that far yet, but I can tell the cells in my mouth are starting to break down. Chapped lips, and my teeth feel funny and whatnot. So that's fun. I haven't started losing my hair yet; the doctors told me that usually takes 2 to 3 weeks, but it's coming. Hair cells are fast-growing as well. Otherwise, my stomach pretty much felt like ka-junkish today. That's a bad thing. It's scary when you start considering the medley of drugs I'm taking. Chemo drugs make me nauseous, so pop an anti-nausea pill. You'll get your period, so here's birth control. Anti-virals, fungals, and bacterials, nightly shot to help boost my immune system when it gets low. Another one I can't remember the name of, an anti-gout drug. Because we can't have me getting the gout. Haha. Gout. These chemo drugs make you constipated (sweet!) so here's a natural laxative. Enjoy! And basically, all of these drugs hit me today with a vengeance. I just wanted to lie in bed all day cradling my poor belly. And so I did. And so that was Christmas. It wasn't that bad actually. Like I said, seeing my family helped. And many awesome people wished me a Merry Christmas. And so it was.
And just for kicks: My intern left me today. Sigh. I guess he's moving on to bigger and better/sicker patients. Apparently the interns rotate? Who knows, maybe my next intern will be cute as well. We'll see. And hope.