Chemo No. 3: Finally, a Rant!

Through six difficult chemotherapy treatments in 2015 I probably complained but never really went on a rant. I guarded myself against “oh woe is me” or “why me?”

But I have to admit I had a few moments like that in the last couple of days. On Tuesday and Wednesday I had round number three of a four-round chemo treatment to tackle my return occurrence of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.


Sorry lady, this is NOT what getting real chemo looks like.

So in a nutshell – why in the hell hasn’t modern medicine figured out how to treat this terrible disease without poisoning the patient? There, I feel better already.

I had a traditional four-drug cocktail in 2015 which was very toxic.It kept me from working for four months. Frankly, its much easier this time. I have a back-to-back day treatment with day one simply being steroids, benedryl and a chemo with day two being the steroids, benedryl, the chemo and Rituxan – a monoclonal. I’ve been able to maintain work and for most part not felt too bad.

But after my second-day treatment on Wednesday I had nauseau then Chemo hiccups most of the evening. Yes, hiccups – one of those things they don’t tell you about. I felt sick and that familiar ‘poisoned” feeling of more than a year ago. Thursday, yesterday, I was pretty good most of the day. I probably could have gone to work if not off for the holidays. But then this morning I had a ‘shut down’ for a couple of hours.


This is what real chemo looks like!

Following my best night of sleep of the week I get up, have coffee and a very light breakfast then just ‘shut down’ – just like the bad ol’ days of 2015. Fortunately, the shut downs don’t last as long now.

So woe is me. Now that’s over with =- we’ll see what the rest of today brings. Friday has normally been the worst in the current routine.

On the good news side I have been getting testosterone shots since August for fatigue. My oncologist told me it could take up to three months before I felt any impact and he just might be right again. I have felt better energy-wise, for the most part, in recent weeks.

I have one more scheduled chemo at end of January and a month later will have a PET scan to see if all of my low-grade cancer cells have died off. Then it’s decision time whether to proceed chemically – every other month Rituxan – or do a self bone marrow transplant hoping for permanent remission.

This has been much easier than the first time around. I surpressed the mental anxiety well the first time and have this time too. But one minor rant about getting poisoned monthly seems allowable.

Cancer sucks. Chemo therapy is one of the biggest reasons why.

Ending on a better note: There is a new cancer society advertisement out there with a tag line I really like and I think it reflects my attitude 99 percent of the time.

“Cancer needs to get out of the way or get run over.”

Happy New Year!



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. I have now taken early retirement and work part-time in a small boutique, retail wine shop in Indianapolis
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1 Response to Chemo No. 3: Finally, a Rant!

  1. donnacronk says:

    So sorry to hear you must endure this, Howard.


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