Saturday, February 24, 2007

Well, so this is interesting.

Apparently, my body no longer likes food. My appetite has hugely decreased over the past few weeks, mostly since I started this second session of chemo. I never really feel like eating anymore, and when I occasionally become hungry, I'm torn between whether I actually feel hungry or if it's nausea. Strangely, they feel similar. I had Crispix for breakfast this morning, delicious, delicious Crispix. But now I feel terrible. It's stupid. A crunchy whole-grain breakfast cereal should not be making me want to tear out my stomach and intestines and leave them on the floor. And now I probably won't eat again for a good long time. Yesterday, for example, I had a bagel for breakfast. Alright, can't go wrong with a bagel. Except that it filled me up to where I had trouble finishing said bagel. And I didn't want to eat anything for the rest of the day. When I finally met my mom for dinner around 5 p.m., I was pretty hungry. But, and here's the frightening part, at the restaurant, all I could eat was most of a crab cake and a couple bites of my pasta. And this is after not having eaten for about 7 or 8 hours. Needless to say, this lack of appetite bit is annoying. Although, it's not like I'm doing much where I need to be eating a lot. I am starting to lose weight again, albeit much slower than when I was in the hospital. I'm hoping it's not muscle though. I am literally counting the days until it's warm enough outside that I can go for a bike ride. I'm thinking two, maybe three weeks? It helps to have something to look forward to, a reason to keep putting up with the daily toils. I have a bike and the prospect of seeing friends soon. And while it's supposed to snow and sleet on us here for the next day or so, I know it will eventually melt, and things will grow again. Woo. And hopefully, one day, I'll eat like a normal person again.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

19 minutes until "Lost...." Quick post

So, apparently I'm dumb. I spent the past two weeks thinking that today, Wednesday, was the day I had to go in for my third asparaginase shot. Turns out, I was supposed to have gone in yesterday. Cool. It ended up not being a big deal though. They squeezed me in at the clinic and no lasting harm done. Although, the nurses messed up my lab orders and ended up drawing a whole lot of blood that they didn't need. Oh well. I've been feeling much better these past few days. I had been feeling like week-old porridge. But the nausea's mostly gone, as is my headache. My doctor told me though to tell her immediately if I ever get "the worst headache of [my] life." If that happens, there could potentially be bleeding in my brain, which would be not so good. I have also found myself taking daily naps. I guess the ten hours of sleep I get at night just isn't enough. I used to feel guilty about it, but now I've realized, why not? I mean, there will pretty much be no other time in my life when I can sleep nine, ten hours at night and also get a two-hour nap in the day. Hahaha. Now, I know you really wish you were me.

In other news, I think I might go to an open-mic tomorrow night. I'm still immuno-suppressed, so it might not be the best idea, but my counts are much higher now. I think I'll probably end up going. The issue will be in whether I balls up and perform something. We'll see. And otherwise, that's about it for me. I have a biopsy next Tuesday, and then the Monday after that I start my third session of chemo. It's six weeks long and involves some hospital stays, so I'm not particularly excited about it. But I guess I just have to make the most of the next week and a half. Alrightly, pax for tonight.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Say it aloud. Twice. Now, tell me that's not a funny word. Not to mention delicious. Mmmm, pork tenderloin for dinner. Oh, and the best part is that I cooked most of it, with help and constant advice from my mother. In other news, I feel much better today. Thanks to modern medicine! My anti-nausea pills were totally effective in preventing nausea from controlling my day. All it took was one little brown pill, yes brown, and my stomach was calmed; and I could even eat without feeling ill! How does it work, you ask? Well, this particular pill is of the 5-HT3 class of medications that essentially block the release of serotonin from the small intestine, a reaction that is triggered by some chemotherapy drugs. Apparently, serotonin helps initiate the vomiting reflex. So, by blocking this chemical, the stomach doesn't have the reaction that results in upchuck. This one is supposed to be taken before you get sick; it prevents nausea. I have two other types of pills that are for breakthrough nausea. They affect the brain and I guess more of the neurological side of vomiting. So that's fun. I haven't messed with the brain ones though; my mind is messed up enough already. I read somewhere that chemo affects your brain, and when you finally come off it, well basically, it takes your brain a while to get back to its former smart-glory. Fuzzy thoughts, hard to concentrate, that sort of thing. Good thing I don't have to worry about that until September. HAH.

But anyway, it's been a good day. My nurse took my blood this morning, and I received no frantic phone calls saying "You need Blood!!! Aaaaaah!" So that's good. Although, it'd be exciting if someone called me and said exactly that. It felt like spring outside today. Spring! I guess there are even robins making their way back to Chicago. So that's optimistic. Warmer, greener days are not that far away. Things to remember. Alright, that's it. Happy Tuesday, sad toad.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Still in confinement.

Hopefully my blood cell counts will start recovering sometime this week. It's supposed to be in the fifties by this weekend, and I am desperate to go outside. Well, go outside without freezing my buns off. Winter's great; it's beautiful outside. I love the snow, for sure. But warmer weather will be nice. In cancer news, interestingly, I've started to feel generally not well. My headache is pretty consistent now, and I've started feeling nauseous as well. Apparently the effects of chemotherapy are cumulative. During the times when I'm not neutropenic, my blood counts are still lower than a healthy person's. In terms of the side-effects, I guess those worsen too. So, the first month of treatment, I was okay. I felt healthy, I recovered quickly, the whole deal. Now, however, I'm starting to feel the side-effects. They're building themselves a nice solid structure in my body. Taking root, as it were. It's a good time. As of yet, it isn't debilitating. I can still go about my daily activities --such as they are-- normally. I'm just hoping as the months progress, they won't worsen significantly. For now though, just plugging along with what I've got. Not much else I can do, I suppose. I don't know, is there some hotline I can call, be like, "hey guys, okay, I've tried the side-effects, I didn't really like them, you can take them away now?" Because that would be sweet. But I don't think there is. Oh well.

And that's about it. I finished Garcia-Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera. I liked the book, but I was disappointed by the ending. The book is long and he is a very intelligent and articulate author (can I call a writer articulate? I don't actually think so...). But his ending just sort of seemed to me like he didn't know how to end it, so he came up with something pedestrian and expected. Oh well. If you've read it, comments? If you haven't read it, it's pretty good if you have a high tolerance for well-written yet fairly drawn out literature. Although, I suppose if you're reading this, you're used to the fairly drawn out. Meh, we'll both live. Well, tomorrow's a holiday, so enjoy it if you have it off. Every day is a holiday for me, kind of, but at least tomorrow I have a somewhat legitimate reason for loafing. hoorah for the presidents. And then Tuesday, man, you had better believe I'll be eating pancakes. Yah! (Mardi gras. Look it up.) Alright, pax from he-ah.