Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] Chemotherapy, the overnight and day 3 experience

Well, the pump is coming off soon. We're down to the last hour of infusion time. The pump starts with 111 ml, infuses 2.3 ml per hour, and is down to 2.0 ml right now.

Spent another night propped up in the easy chair. Not the world's greatest sleeping position, but Lorazepam seems to ease it some. I continue to go very lightly on the side effects, other than the extreme lassitude and fatigue. The early headache has not returned, my bowel function has restarted (albeit even more suboptimally than usual), even the libido has checked in a bit more. I continue to be a bit mentally slow on the written side, but my conversational focus seems sharp. And still no nausea!

I'm not pinning too many future hopes on this level of side effects. The whole point of twelve chemo sessions is cumulative effects. But it is very encouraging to not just drop down the shithole on the first pass through this stuff.

We'll document the removal of the pump with camera and commentary, as we do everything. Why not? I'm learning a lot here, and I know some of you are as well. Then we'll do the ritual of smashing the first chemo bottle [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. Then a nice long walk, or maybe even a walk before if we find ourselves ready prior to the pump finishing up.

Anent last night's post of the chemo photos [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] (reminder, NSFW), I find that cancer has significantly altered my relationship with my body and myself. The colonic resectioning of May, 2008 also permanently extracted both my body modesty and a significant portion of my dignity. This past year's surgeries only pushed that further. Two years ago, I would no more have dreamed of posting essentially nude pictures of myself on the Internet than I would have dreamed of flying to the moon barehanded. Now I realize that cancer is so much a disease of body, mind, spirit and society, and it threatens so much of my agency, my self-image, my sexuality, and my centeredness. There was a statement to be made there about the relationship between me and cancer, and the love that fills my life. The love of calendula_witch and shelly_rae, the love of my family, the love of my friends and sweethearts, the love of many of you.

It's a strange way to give back, exposing my hopes and fears and body so literally, but this is how I steal the power back from cancer, like Prometheus with his burning brand bringing light to the darkest shadows at the expense of the wrath of the unutterable. Cancer is a silent, deadly god, a death-prayer locked in my genes. I will never go down quietly, for I love the light too much.

And I love you all.

Tags: calendula, cancer, family, health, personal, shellyrae

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