1 Chemo Down: That Was Different

So as I write this on a Sunday night, I’m about a week-and-a-half removed from my first Chemo of my second round with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Two doctors explained this would be different – in a good way. And a week-and-a-half later, they were right. I had my back-to-back days of chemo Nov. 1 & 2. Chemo drug on Tuesday the first, then chemo drug and Rituxin on the second. I took Nov. 3 off and worked two-thirds the day on Friday the fourth. I felt ok …a tad toxic and tired but not bad. It got to me Friday night and most of the day Saturday of that weekend but not with the ferocity of the four-chemo drug treatments of last summer. I started to rebound Sunday and Monday. I worked every this week.

The really good news was Wednesday through Friday I felt really good, really normal. I know culmulative effect will have an impact with four treatments but with a couple days rest after each treatment the rest of my month should be at least somewhat normal.

I got clarity this past week on what happens after my four chemo treatments. There will be, most likely, three options. One option is to go on Rituxan every other month for two years. Another possible option would be simple oral medication that comes from the huge body of work going on in cancer research about activating your own immunity system fo fight cancer. Another option, more traditional, will be an auto bone marrow transplant. That would be using my own bone marrow and not a donor.

The one swollen lymph node I had is now gone after just one treatment but that’s not terribly unusual. I still have three to go. I traveled to Oregon last weekend of October and my left leg swole up – as I noted in previous post – like a dead hog. I’m happy to write tonight that the leg has returned to normal size.

I could write a few thousand words about the mental pressure I went through initially but don’t think I’m up to that today. That pressure would be being unemployed at age 63, finding a new job (that I really like), and maintaining health insurance to pay cancer bills. Add on top of all that the stress of keeping a reasonable work schedule while undergoing treatment.

Fortunately, it seems like most of those worries have started to work out for me. My mental state is much better today than it was when I first got this news.

So, there is the update for now. I’m tardy in getting this written.

I always like to have some humor here or at least ending on an up note. My fellow workers really surprised me early last week. They brought me a great signed card and some retail gift cards. They wanted me to know they were supporting the ‘new guy’ in his cancer battle. I was really touched. I took one of those cards and bought a bunch of bagels on Friday. I hope, and know, that my thank you can’t be expressed in bagels alone – but that my gratitude will last my entire time at Purdue University for their support.

Round Two of Chemo: Nov. 28 & 29.

 

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About Howard

After most of my career in the newspaper business I joined higher education, working in Public Affairs. I write mostly about value wine.
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