Monday, December 25, 2006

Currently watching: Pirates of the Caribbean, the 1st one

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.


Tim Kelly said...

I'm thinking of you, Caroline! You're such a strong person and I hope all gets better realllly soon!

Justin Hook said...

Caroline, the thought of all those drugs is just crazy to me. I mean, I've been asking my doctor for anti-gout medicine for years - I can't believe you actually get to take them all! Lucky!
I love your blog. It's seriously the only thing I read these days.

I hope you enjoyed the last thing I sent you. Now, enjoy this one:

Don't stop it! Let it run all the way! Trust me, you will be addicted.

Love and luck



Justin Hook said...

Here's the link for all you lazy people.

Megan Amanda Steffen said...

Day-umh. Shown up. I want a picture, too.

Megan Amanda Steffen said...

There! Although mine is not nearly as black and white and sexy as Justin's.

I hope you get a cool intern like the ones on "Scrubs." (I have been watching a lot of "Scrubs" lately.) I hope it is a he and I hope he is cute and I hope he makes lots of awkward I'm-an-insecure-intern-not-a-doctor jokes so that you can laugh about him when he leaves even though you know he can hear you through the paper-thin doors.

Also: I am more disturbed than impressed by that video, Justin. For serious.

Caroline said...

How'd you guys do that? Justin, you and your internet skills are putting me to shame. Also: funny story. I don't have access to youtube. But thanks for the link nonetheless. Hopefully others will find amusement from whatever weirdly twisted clip you've left as a comment. Word.