Story 3Feb2022: (Cycle 1 Day 7) Better

The adherence to process, the careful understanding of the process, and just getting the through things done brought me to 1/2 through cycle 1 of chemotherapy.

Thanks, dear reader, for supporting me all these days. And for those occasional readers, thank you too.

On re-reading, this sounds more like my Howard character than my own experiences, but this is really how I actually think.

So far, I have had no permanent loss of dexterity, but extreme cold sensitivity is still there, and I am careful to monitor my toes. And yes, they all work.

I am getting up now, usually after many trips to the bathroom, proving my good hydration, around 9:30ish. Stealing a few hours more of morning luxuriating sleep.

I dress slow, and instead of my usual rushed morning of so many years working for the shoe company, I instead go slow and a bit unsteady.

This Thursday morning (yesterday), I had a bagel with butter and anti-nausea meds. I have to pick every morning as the drugs cause drowsiness and multiply their effect. Not a normal response, but I know my body, and it will put me out for the day if I take them together. So it is anti-nausea today, and the anti-diarrhea pills will have to wait.

The bagel stays where I put it. “You have chosen wisely,” words seem to drift into my head.

I take my chemo drugs and most of my chemicals at 10s, 10AM, and 10PM. This makes planning easy. I have to eat within 30 minutes of the 10s. I am now eating smaller meals as that seems to settle better and prevents more drugs and options that I might not enjoy.

I am usually a morning person starting at some dark hour and then rushing into the day excited by all the possibilities. Now, I glide a bit into the afternoon, finding it is 11AM before I am ready for that.

Thursday, I discovered that my two previous days of discomfiture had me miss that I have no clean clothes. Rev. Anne Weld-Martin called me and offered a lift to see Susie in Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway, Room 44A, but I had a sequence error. So I first needed to be dressed, and that meant doing laundry. So I had to forgo Anne’s kind offer and instead wait for the laundry process.

I need a distraction now, and thus, Mariah’s recommendation, I turned to HBOMax and found the show Miracle Worker. I don’t usually do comedies, but one set on God and angels and the end-of-the-world just gets me. All staring well-meaning young people, perfect. I loved it, and it distracted me while I waited, it seemed forever, for laundry.

I will admit I finished one season on Thursday, something I never do. So recommended, and you will know if this show is for you in one episode.

I dressed and enjoyed the newly clean clothing, and I managed to get ready and headed out in Air Volvo. I did not want to take any anti-nausea meds, as these drugs make driving complex. Thus, I drove with the windows open and my mind focused on the task. Phone calls happened, and it was nice to chat to folks while going and thus ignore my other more, let’s call them profound feelings.

I reached the facility without incident, that is, without my fellow Oregonians demonstrating any unique use of cars and driving laws. My entrance was delayed by answering the questions that I had symptoms of chemotherapy that overlap Covid-19 checks. The administrator ruled that I had no Covid-19 symptoms and thus could enter.

I was only there for a short time. Susie was awake and dressed with Rev. Anne Weld-Martin, and Susie spoke clearly and was very happy to finally see me after a two-day absence. But, of course, I put on gloves, as I cannot expose folks even to my hands as I am aswarm with chemo. So Susie got to hold my gloved hands for about twenty or so minutes.

I started to fade fast, and the mask was not improving my building nausea. I am usually a fan of N95 masks, and they never bother me until that day.

I forgot to take a pic, and I did not call Leta, and I suddenly needed to leave. So maybe next time it will be easier.

Anne follows me home in her car as I am pale and challenged now. I manage to have no events, no emergency auto-pilot items start on Air Volvo, reach home, collapse into my chair, and grab an anti-nausea med before things worsen.

Dinner and later dinner are cottage cheese. Something I love and can quickly get down. I watched the rest of season one of Miracle Worker; it fades a bit, but still is a good show.

Bed calls, and I manage to sleep after reading more. Better.

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