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[cancer|writing] Emerging from chemo infusion session 5 - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-08-31 05:45
Subject: [cancer|writing] Emerging from chemo infusion session 5
Security: Public
Tags:books, calamity, cancer, conventions, health, personal, sunspin, writing

Well, it’s official. Zyprexa really sucks. Except not taking Zyprexa sucks more.

Back during session one of this round chemotherapy (last May), I had terrible problems with nausea and vomiting, that lasted into the week after. We fiddled my meds, and I finally wound up on Zyprexa, which is an antischizophrenic medication that happens to be effective at suppressing nausea. The problem is that when I take Zyprexa, I get very drowsy but cannot sleep. (Which is a weird state to be in, let me tell you.)

So I had to add Lorazepam (Ativan) to the mix, to get me over the top of the sleeplessness. Which means I’m now taking two soporifics. (Incidentally, Lorazepam is also psychoactive as an anti-anxiety drug, as well as also being an anti-nausea drug. Ain’t pharmaceuticals grand?) This in turn led to me sleeping dramatically longer during the chemotherapy infusion session as well as at home on the chemo weekend. The extreme fatigue and lassitude I associate with my prior chemo experience also chased me hard into the week.

Last night was the first night since this past Thursday when I have not taken the Zyprexa/Lorazepam double whammy. This morning is the first morning since this past Thursday that I have woken up before the alarm clock, as is my usual wont, and have not woken up already exhausted.

Also, I noticed a lot more depression and fussiness than I had expected. Some of that must be an emotional winding down post-Worldcon, and some of it is overtly situational, but I sure hope I don’t have this rough a ride for each of the next seven chemo sessions.

I’m sure some of this past weekend’s depth of fatigue comes from post-Worldcon recovery as well, but mostly this is chemo helper drug side effects. It mean going forward that I’ll have to budget five days instead of four for lost productivity in each two-week chemotherapy cycle. Which is what it is, but remains damned annoying.

Speaking of such issues, I’m about five days behind on my writing goals. I’d expected to have Sunspin‘s first volume, Calamity of So Long a Life, done in first draft by the end of August. Not quite: I lost more time at Worldcon than I expected, and I lost a day just now. Close enough that I don’t feel wiped out by the missed deadline, but still missed.

Yesterday I got my edit letter from [info]casacorona regarding Kalimpura. My goal there is to have the revisions back in to her (and la agente) by the end of September. I’m confident of making that schedule. Then some revising on Sunspin until I either run out of gas completely or have a solid first revision pass on Calamity of So Long a Life.

All of that, of course, balanced around the chemotherapy and its discontents.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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User: mlerules
Date: 2011-08-31 15:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Annoying tho it may be, it's good to have an idea of what to expect over the course of the next several months. *hugs*

Later, 'gator...
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User: shelly_rae
Date: 2011-08-31 16:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Zyprexa worked better for me in a smaller dose. May not work the same for you of course. I was willing to balance slight nausea with more alertness as long as I was observant about what, when, and how much I was eating and drinking. Never needed the lorazapam with the smaller z dose. Or just sleep it out. YMWV.
Good luck,

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