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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-01-23 11:44
Subject: [cancer] Chemotherapy, day one of session two
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, family, health, personal, shellyrae
Yesterdy was day one of session two of chemotherapy for me. Each session last about 54 hours, from midmorning Friday to mid-afternoon Sunday. The first six hours is at the infusion center at OHSU's waterfront clinic (a/k/a the Center For Health and Healing). Then I wear a takehome pump for 48 more hours.

Intake was simpler this time, because we knew what to expect. There also wasn't a bunch of training, like last time. However, calendula_witch and I did have a terrifically entertaining conversation with one of the oncology nurse practitioners. This arose from a discussion of my side effects list [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. I'm not sure if the NP was impressed or appalled at the detail in the list, but we established several things, including that I did not have thrush, and that my fluid intake was insufficient.

The entertainment value was in a discussion of sex and side effects. We talked about the difficulty of condoms when erectile dysfunction was in play. calendula_witch allowed as how I did have an exceptional libido. The NP did suggest a lot more fluids might help with the ED, which was something I'd never heard. We also talked about the risks of penetrative sex without condoms with a premature withdrawal strategy. Basically, my risk of bacterial infection from that vector is sufficiently low not to worry her, but the possibility of chemo drugs in pre-come is still an issue. The prospect was left open. The NP (a woman in her fifties, and a former AIDS educator in times past) laughed and told us that no one ever asks these questions. She said, "I wish you could talk to some of my younger patients, because none of them will ask an old lady like me about sex."

After that, and checking in for the third time (once for blood test, once for oncological consult, once for infusion — all at the same desk, all at the same facility, but separate check-ins for insurance tracking purposes, ahem), I got to sit in the big chair for many hours. The next chair over was occupied by a funny old woman who I'm pretty sure is an ageing protohippie, her partner with her. I knew a lot more about what to expect this time, including having my brain fry out on Oxaliplatin. Our only visitor was tillyjane, as Mom and Dad and lillypond were all out of town, and shelly_rae didn't arrive til today. So it was quite low key and undramatic.

Now I'm having all the same effects as last session. Mild headache, extreme fatigue, fuzzy headedness, hard-of-thinking-ness. At least constipation has not taken me over, unlike last time. calendula_witch just fetched shelly_rae from the train station, so we're all here now.

And damn, I'm tired. But so far, so okay.

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wyld_dandelyon: great wizard by djinni
User: wyld_dandelyon
Date: 2010-01-23 20:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:great wizard by djinni
It makes sense to me that hydration could help with what is essentially a hydraulic issue, on one level, at least. And with constipation too.
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shelly_rae: Moon
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-01-23 20:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've arrived on the wings of calendula_witch's chariot and now Jay is asleep in his recliner. All is good.
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Allison Lonsdale: lotus
User: caprine
Date: 2010-01-23 20:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Regarding ED, a couple of possibilities:


Slightest Touch electronic nerve stimulation -- marketed for women, but also usable by men.

Just in case they weren't already on your radar.
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User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2010-01-23 21:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm tired. But so far, so okay.

... its hard work, but worth it.
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User: zellandyne
Date: 2010-01-23 21:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*hugs* I love that you guys are asking about the sex stuff. It's important.
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scarlettina: Cancer
User: scarlettina
Date: 2010-01-24 05:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So far okay, so good. ::hug:: Thinking of you, babe.
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User: seosandiego
Date: 2010-01-24 12:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
feel the pain your going through, I really hope all is well for you and that you recover quick...
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russ: venus im pelz
User: goulo
Date: 2010-01-25 12:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:venus im pelz
> She said, "I wish you could talk to some of my younger patients, because none of them will ask an old lady like me about sex."

Perhaps it's time for you to make a mid-life career change... :)
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