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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-01-06 05:26
Subject: [cancer] State of the Jay, as of chemo day -2
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, health, healthcare, personal
Chemo is in two days. Yesterday was crazed. I had a physical therapy appointment at the clinic (which is a separate facility associated with the hospital I use). Ran long.

Had to pick up some FMLA paperwork at the Medical Oncology unit. Expected that to be a five minute process, was there for nearly an hour. A productive, entertaining hour, admittedly, as a very sharp and funny oncology Nurse Practitioner talked to me at length, but not what I'd expected.

Had to get some bloodwork done — checking for celiac, a potential culprit in my ongoing bowel issues — they were training a new phlebotomist and grew very excited when I gave my standard, "I'm a hard stick, here's what you need to do, yadda yadda" routine. (My personal best is 13 jabs to draw blood. Sometimes they have to call in IV Therapy to hit blood in me. I've never been a junkie, but I have deep, flabby veins that run away from needles at the best of times, and over the past two years of cancer treatments have accumulated some impressive vein scarring in the usual places.) So I cheerfully submitted to being a jab test dummy and training target, and that took about twenty minutes instead of the usual three to five. (The phlebotomist's apprentice did finally get me in one jab, so mad props to her.)

Finally, rather late due the lengthy delays at the clinic, I ran off to the train station to collect shelly_rae. Later that day, saw my therapist.

Here's where I am...
  • I have almost no mental and emotional reserves. I am quick to be crabby, and I miss jokes. This is Stress 101, but I still don't like it.

  • I have been eating erratically, including a highly unusual amount of junk food. Not even my most ordinary comfort eating patterns, either. Stress 101a, methinks.

  • I am terrified of chemo at many levels, but quite confident that I will be the master of this process, rather than letting it master me.

  • On Thursday night or Friday morning, I will probably lose my shit utterly. calendula_witch and shelly_rae will scrape me up off the ground and keep me going.

  • calendula_witch and I have developed a ritual for marking the chemo sessions which impressed my therapist. She, I and shelly_rae will be implementing the first part of this tomorrow evening. Yes, I will document it.

  • I am planning to liveblog and/or Tweet my first infusion session on Friday, as much as is practical.

That's me. Jumbled, frightened, determined.

And may I hear a hearty "Fuck Cancer!" from the crowd?
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User: zxhrue
Date: 2010-01-06 13:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

fuck cancer!
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russ: grr
User: goulo
Date: 2010-01-06 13:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fuck Cancer!
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-01-06 13:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fuck Cancer!

FYI--a quick tip from a long-term infusion support pro (not chemo but Remicade)--keep yourself hydrated. DS doesn't have a port but has to go through a fresh vein stick (but he also only gets infused every seven weeks).

For your support team--find out if comfy chairs are available for them as well, and they should take advantage of that. I've had mixed results with focusing on work that needs a lot of attention--several of my grad school projects are engraved on my brain because DS started infusions at that time. For the longest time the only thing I could focus on was doing embroidery. Toby Buckell's books are also strongly associated with infusions to me, because I've read them during DS's infusions. Writing--awfully tough with distractions and, especially in early stages, helping monitor and assist the patient.

For you--have light movies handy to watch on iPod or Mac during the process. Nothing that requires deep thought, something you can nod off to if need be.
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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2010-01-06 19:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, hydration is a big deal. I've just discovered coconut water and I think it's much, much better than Gatorade. For one thing, it's got over 500 mg potassium per serving, and getting enough potassium can be challenging. You can find it at health food stores. Our friend Kevin, who has been battling colon cancer for a good six years now, had a real thing for blue gatorade when he was first going through chemo. Find what you like and stock up!
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Peter Hollo
User: frogworth
Date: 2010-01-06 13:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
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it's a great life, if you don't weaken
User: matociquala
Date: 2010-01-06 14:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Cancer. Fuck it.
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User: twinkelbelpeach
Date: 2010-01-06 14:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fuck Cancer!! Beat that sucker to a pulp and kick it to the curb!
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User: ozarque
Date: 2010-01-06 14:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Curse cancer. For sure. And bless you. May you come safely and swiftly through this hard time.
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User: torreybird
Date: 2010-01-06 14:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fuck cancer!
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2010-01-06 14:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fuck cancer!
Thinking of you.
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User: jess_ka
Date: 2010-01-06 14:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fuckin' right, fuck cancer!

Also: hugs.
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User: martyn44
Date: 2010-01-06 14:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
17 misses. My record is 8 and I was a snivelling wreck when the red, red krovvy flowed.

Fuck cancer, oh yes indeed. Fuck it any way you can think of. Well, maybe not EVERY way, given your imagination.
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Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond
User: birdhousefrog
Date: 2010-01-06 14:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
FUCK the cancer!

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Matthew S. Rotundo: Radioactive
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2010-01-06 14:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And the horse it rode in on.
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mythicalgirl: tank girl
User: mythicalgirl
Date: 2010-01-06 14:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:tank girl
Fuck Cancer!
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User: magentamn
Date: 2010-01-06 14:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Joining the chorus: FUCK CANCER!
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