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[cancer] It's all in the details, Mr. President - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-06-16 05:33
Subject: [cancer] It's all in the details, Mr. President
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal, politics
Slept fitfully but ok. Oddly, I've been feeling a bit more rested just lately, as if my sleep needs have dropped off a tad. Looking at my hours slept, this might even be true, for some tenuous and short-term value of "true".

Dreamt about politics last night. Had a long talk with President Obama while he was going through some old childhood belongings of his in a small apartment somewhere. Kept telling him he needed to use his charisma and rhetorical strength to lead this country rather than manage it. He thanked me politely for my input, then sent me off to a grade school talent show hosted by Vice President Biden.

Such a rich, full life I live while I'm asleep. I wonder if Lorazepam is affecting my dreams.

It occurred to me this morning when I woke up that I was almost done taking Dexamethasone, which is quite possibly the key culprit in my chemotherapy induced cognitive deficits.

My relationship with pharmaceuticals has become most intimate in the past few years. The little prescription sheet printout they make me check over at the doctor's office has grown to two full pages. This includes OTCs (fish oil, Vitamins D and E, multivitamin, microdose aspirin, Tylenol as needed); the complex cocktail of the chemotherapy regime (Avastin, leucovorin, oxaliplatin, 5FU, calcium, magnesium, Heparin, Dexamethasone, two other oral steroids I can't remember the name of but I call them "Lucky Charms", and probably one or two more infusions I've forgotten); not to mention good old Lovastatin and Viagra. Plus whatever else I forget as I blog this morning.

Sometimes it occurs to me to wonder when the hell this all happened to me. I still remember the days when I'd take an aspirin once every month or two for something or other, and that's about it.

Cancer, at least in its earlier stages, is silent. Except for the initial bleeding that first got me into this whole process back in April of 2008, I've never had a single symptom. (Mind you, the bleeding would have been fatal without medical intervention, so maybe I didn't need more than a single symptom.) The process of treating cancer is a series of increasingly damaging invasive insults to the body followed by a long program of poisons you wouldn't give to a lab rat for fear of excess cruelty. The cure really is worse than the disease, except for that bit where the disease generally kills you and the cure generally does not.

Once again, it's all in the details. Here's me, with a body full of toxins, dreaming about lecturing the president on his conduct of office. Cogito ego sum?
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-06-16 12:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The cortosteroids do make the brain unhappy--something about the way they play with the adrenals and the blood sugar. It's a known factor (I'm a bit aware of it because of the occasional need to take Prednisone for allergies--generally when an infection has lodged itself in my lungs and nothing will make it leave).

I had (sometimes still have) an entire alternate real world that I visit in my dreams--a place with a consistent backstory, setting and such. Montana or NE Oregon type of wide open spaces with mountains and luscious vistas, politics to match.
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