Friday, July 6, 2007

Another Friday night.

I know it's petty of me to think thusly, but I can't help but wish I was out dancing and drinking and flirting and doing all those typical twenty-year old things that I usually treat with disdain. I just thought I'd share that when the disparate worlds of cancer patient and twenty-something collide, the result is typically a lot of wishful thinking.

It's actually quite difficult to reconcile the two groups. Around age twenty is typically when we begin to lean towards independence and to scope out the "real world." Many of my friends are living away from home this summer; some are even abroad. This is the beginning of one of the freest and most exciting times of our lives. But then to be told you have cancer, to be treated for cancer, most of your independence is taken from you. This isn't specific to me, either. Many of the other young adults I've met who have cancer have shared this sentiment: you desperately want to be on your own, but, realistically, you need to become again somewhat of a dependent. I know I would pretty much never do my laundry... You also need to accept that there are necessary sacrifices to be made in order to get well, which is probably the hardest part. I'm not tremendously stupid, so I'm not going to go and put myself in a situation where I could get sick, as much as I would love to go to the Dave Matthews Band concert this Sunday. (side note: I really, really want to go). But the part of me that was forced to grow up, the rational part of me, is telling the twenty-year old in me that it's only two more months, and Dave Matthews will still be on tour after this summer.

So basically, these are some of my Friday night ruminations. I doubt these issues are pertinent to many people; I think they are fairly cancer-specific. But there you have it: welcome to my mind. Although I can't leave out my relief that I have this whole next week free of clinic. Nice. Peace.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Today was a nice break.

Happy Independence Day and such. I celebrated --sort of-- in the most patriotic of ways: My mom and I went to a movie; we bought dishes at JC Penney; we gorged ourselves on way too much delicious pizza. Hollywood, consumerism, and overeating. Thank God for the U.S. of A. But really, today was a much-needed reprieve from this week's stresses.

Monday was Day One of course VI of my chemotherapy. I received one spinal tap and two infusion drugs. I am not sure if it is easier or harder to handle the various procedures when I know what to expect. I dread the pain, of course, but I also know that it will be over quickly. The spinal taps, or lumbar punctures, are not fun, but they are not as bad as they sound. The worst part is the next day when you can feel your spine again, and you mostly feel pain where you were stabbed, repeatedly, with a six-inch needle. But I can tell my back is getting better; my walking is already easier, even after only two days. Yesterday, I only received one three-hour infusion, but my doctor also ordered me blood. So, clinic time was drawn out to about seven hours. And tomorrow will be a repeat of yesterday's chemo and blood infusions. Like I said, today was most welcome. There is very good news though: after tomorrow, I don't have to go back to clinic for almost a week and a half. I plan on doing some serious relaxing next week. My body needs a break. Well, what my body really needs is for this all to be finished, but that's the next step. Right now I am focused on getting through tomorrow.

Worth noting, briefly, is that Boston University starts classes in exactly two months. Most of my friends probably don't want to think about school at all right now, but I am pretty darn excited. I know the next two months will fly by at a snail's pace, but that's okay. Tomorrow is one more drug and one more day closer to the end. Go 'Merica.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A small nugget

The past few days have been good days for me. Productive, but not overly so; tiring, but not to the point of exhaustion; fun, but nothing particularly worth mentioning. In short, they have been normal days. The only thing notable is that my catheter site has started oozing again. As with the last time this happened, I think it is because of the heat. For the newcomers to my account of life with cancer, my catheter is a white tube that was inserted under my skin and goes over my collarbone and ends somewhere in my chest cavity, lurking above my heart. I get chemo pushed into it and blood drawn from it. What it means, though, is that there is a small hole about three inches to the left of my right armpit. When my body overheats, strange, gross ooze tends to find its way out of the hole. This is bad because no moisture is supposed to be near the site. Moisture creates a breeding ground for bacteria, which in turn could easily enter my body and do very, very bad things to me. So, hopefully tomorrow I will figure out the ooze situation.

Because... Tomorrow is when I start up chemo again. I am NOT looking forward to this, but the sooner it's over, then, well, the sooner it's over, I suppose. I purposely ate a lot and delicious food today, knowing that for the next two weeks-ish, I will not really want to eat. Good times. If I'm semi-conscious, I will be sure to update tomorrow evening with how the various procedures and drug administrations went. 'Till then, adieu.