Monday, September 09, 2013

Today's Chemo Session

In my line of work there’s a common acronym:  RTFM.  (I’m always a little reluctant to use it, since I have to make a mental adjustment for the “F”.  J)  We’ve seen numerous “Amazing Race” episodes where I’ve almost shouted it at the screen.  Today it seems to apply to me.  To paraphrase slightly, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!  You’d think I’d know better than to trust my memory, but I was sure I only needed one pill before going to chemo.  Turns out I need two.  That little oversight cost me.
My appointment was this morning at 9:00 am.  The needle poke itself was significantly less painful than last time, but it was still fairly nasty.  It didn’t take me long to fall asleep, only to be pleasantly awoken by our Pastor.  We had a very nice visit – I really enjoy talking to pastors, especially if we can chat about the odd theological question.  After he left I went back to lethargy, though I don’t think I feel asleep.  Around the time that my final, 15-minute bag of chemo was to start, I started to feel a little nausea.  By the time it came time to head for the car, I wasn’t sure I’d make it.  Sure enough, before I left I had to grab the garbage can.  Fortunately it was a fairly short session, but vomiting for me is fairly intense.  It’s not quite as bad as for my father or sister, who actually pass out when they vomit, but it’s no fun.  Anyway, they seem to take that kind of thing very seriously in the chemo department!  The nurses came running, and immediately tried to determine the cause.  Fortunately Sue was there to help me remember what drugs I’m on, so they were able to work out the issues.  They gave me another one of the pills I was supposed to have taken, as well as a fast-acting one for a more immediate response.  Ten or fifteen minutes later I felt good enough and we left.  I haven’t had another bout since, but I expect I’ll be taking ALL my medication next time!!!
Anyway, the rest of the day has been fairly good.  I was quite tired again, so I had a decent nap before heading out for hockey.  We were very happy to learn that Brodie made the hockey team he was trying out for, so we took him out to one of his favourite restaurants to celebrate.  I was happy that my supper didn’t taste like someone dropped the pepper shaker into it – I had some war wonton soup that was really quite good.  However, I had some lemonade to go with it, and drinking that was a bizarre experience.  I remember the first winter hike I did with my buddy Barry.  We were at a creek that was still running high up in the mountains, and the water was so cold that the instant you dipped your pot into the water, it coated the pot with a layer of ice and instantly formed a layer on top.  That’s how drinking the lemonade felt:  like it instantly coated my lips, tongue, and throat with ice!  It felt very bizarre, but I got through it.  It was also somewhat reminiscent of that candy that the kids used to get that kind-of exploded on your tongue (pop rocks or something?).
One last thing to share:  the “verse of the day” from was perfect today:
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.  Isaiah 46:4 NIV
God bless!

P.S.  Oops!  I just looked back at my old post in which I thought I’d mentioned the pepper, but it looks like I didn’t, so that reference may be too vague.  The first two suppers I had after my first chemo session were lasagna and farmer sausage.  Both meals tasted like someone had dropped the pepper shaker into the food.  The first supper I actually asked others whether there was something wrong with the lasagna, but they confirmed it was just my taste buds, not the food.  The second time I was expecting it.  That sensation disappeared after that, though.  The next time I had some leftovers of the same lasagna, it tasted great!

Just thought you might like some context for that one.


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