The Changing Face Of Chemo

“Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.

My trips to Philly seem to always be fraught with drama, be it dealing with a surgical wound that won’t heal or passing out on a bus. This latest trip however seemed to be devoid of such shenanigans….almost.

Our trip began early on Tuesday morning, and by early I mean the roosters would peck your eyes out if you woke them that early. Getting up at 4:30 am to catch a flight is not my idea of fun. Me and the roosters are simpatico on this. We arrived in Philly where we were taken from the airport straight to the cancer center where we stayed until we finally were able to go to our hotel around 8:00 pm. A very long day. The remaining days were non-eventful.

Now my chemo sessions have pretty much gone without incidents. There are a lot of side effects that can occur but so far I have been pretty fortunate. My hair has thinned out considerably but then I had so much to begin with that I still have a good bit left, although that could change at any moment, I still get tired after the four to five hour sessions and a little nausea can sometimes kick in. This time however, the chemo kicked my butt. I stayed nauseous the whole time I was in Philly. Thankfully the center has good drugs so I was able to somewhat manage the nausea. This third round also gave me a new side effect, acid reflux. I found that I could not stop hiccuping and belching. The belching was the worst especially at night. I had a couple of incidents that first evening after chemo that I will not go into detail here but needless to say it woke me up several times. The nurses at the center said that this can be a side effect of the drugs I’m taking sometimes. So now I take Pepsid to counter the reflux.

It amazes me how chemo’s side effects can change every session. Just because you don’t experience a certain side effect one week, doesn’t mean it won’t zap you the next week. Chemo kills everything, the good and the bad. The longer you are on it the more effects you can wind up experiencing. Unfortunately this is a necessary evil because of the things chemo can do to many forms of cancer. Many more people are surviving cancer than ever before. Those of us battling just wish some doctor could come up with a treatment that can be as effective as chemo with a lot less serious side effects.

On a good note, all of my numbers from my blood work are either better or stable, including those associated with my poor little liver. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.