Sunday, April 20, 2008

IV Chemo Round I

Well just when you think everything is going along really well, BAM there is something to put you back into reality. The chickenhawk and I had a busy week scheduled. We had to go down the hill to doctors visits on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. A couple of the trips were early so I would have to get out of bed earlier than normal... We were pretty psyched up for it. Chickenhawk's younger sister came down from Oregon without her kids or husband to spend the week giving us a hand. It was a huge contribution because she could take care of the kids really easily while we spent the week at doctors appointments.

Thursday was my last set of appointments. I had to go to a class on chemotherapy that they make everyone go to before they can get IV chemotherapy. Thus far my chemo therapy has all been oral and as a result not as gnarly as intravenous chemo. The oncologist decided that I was ready to receive some IV chemo. Now this IV chemo is not really for killing cancer cells, it is for strengthening my bones. The drug that they gave me is called zometa and it only takes 1/2 hour to get it onto me. So right after the class they took me downstairs and hooked me up to the IV pole.

In the class they gave us all handouts about our specific chemo drugs. These handouts tell you all of the "potential" side effects. Mine was constipation (always constipation) muscle, joint and bone soreness, fever, chills, muscle spasms, fatigue, nausea and a few other things. The nurses at the chemo clinic were really nice, they tool really good care of us and I barely had time to crack a magazine before we were out of there. On the way home, it felt like the last day of school before summer vacation. We were done with the hard week and had the whole weekend to chill out. I was singing along with the car radio and feeling great. Got home around 3 and took a nap.

When I woke up, the world had changed. I was starting to feel not so great. On Friday morning I was toast. I cant really remember what happened on Friday other than I felt really really bad. It felt how I would feel if I rode three days of the tour de france in the alps. I was hammered. My temperature started to creep up and basically all of the aforementioned side effects happened in a big way especially fatigue. I slept like crazy. I had trouble moving due to all of the pain and had to break into the emergency morphine stash a couple of times. It was pretty much a new low point in the cancering process. The crazy thing is my chemo is one of the more mild chemos. Holy sh%$! I cant imagine getting through the rougher ones.

I felt a little bit better on Saturday and I watched 3 movies... Unbreakable, Life is Beautiful, and 3:10 to Yuma. I did not talk on the phone. I didn't have the energy. I could barely eat, going to the bathroom was a challenge. I am writing this on Sunday and I starting to feel back to my "normal" self. I watched Paris Roubaix today with KD and that was the highlight of the weekend. Boonen is frickin amazing. He ran that race perfectly.

I'll post more soon, gotta go to save energy.

8 comments:

bikesgonewild said...

...spencer...a most sobering post, my friend...

...while watching that paris-roubaix broadcast & yet knowing the final results, i could better concentrate on the details...
...imagining what it must be like dealing w/ the intensity of the narrow, winding cobbled sections...being concerned w/ sliding off the high domed crown of the bumpy worn tract or finding a line to the side, through puddled unknown low spots...
...the occasional option of racing at high speed on wet, slippery, dirt single track as opposed to the literal pounding of the cobblestones...the never ending repetition of transitioning between the various road surfaces...
...the wind, the dust, the mud, the close constant screaming of the fans...the concentration of holding a wheel, maintaining the pace, keeping your line...
...we were treated to closeups of the best & toughest hard men in the world, being served up the punishment of a strange, unusual ritual they crave...
...but at the end of the day, they could shower the dirt off, have the soreness massaged out of their muscles & be ready to race another day...

...frankly, spencer, as much as i admire them, the podium of boonen, cancellara & ballan should show up at your house or the door of anyone w/ cancer & see what it's like to deal w/ real adversity...

...stay strong, stay on course & see ya down the road...

Anonymous said...

I watched the paris-roubaix race for the first time ever. Amazing!I cant imagine doing that on a mountainbike much less a roadbike. Thanks for the heads up.
I know you are feeling trashed right now hopefully that will pass as the week goes on. You are one tough dude. I liked the 310 to Yuma. Mike D.

steveh said...

Rubinicus - despite feeling lousy, you still show that strength and wit through your writing.

Stay strong.

Tourmaline OTC said...

you know I hate blowing smoke up your butt, but seriously, Boonen's got nothin on you. Paris-Roubaix is hardcore but gettin up in the morning and facing a day of post-chemo treatment and cancer with a smile on your face kicks far more ass. Makes TB look like a girlie-man. Nobody expects you to be so damn courageous in the face of insurmountable challenges but you keep raising the bar. Keep taking it one day at a time.

Now get off that damn couch you sissy.
Love,
TOTC

Anonymous said...

I like this Tourmaline

Granny

Anonymous said...

I like this Tourmaline too.
xoxoxo kt

Judi said...

Hey Spencer - hang in there. Sleep lots, let your body heal, and rest rest rest. Enjoy some sunshine if you can too. Please look into acupuncture for the chemo side affects. If it's in your budget it will do you so so so much good.

Also, look for Smooth Move - it's in the tea section of your grocery store. Helps with the constipation buddy.

Hugs to you and your family - Judi

bikesgonewild said...

...good point, judi...Smooth Move Tea by Traditional Medicinals will work & keeping regular is important any time but maybe more so under the duress of sickness...
...it's nothing but natural herbs & most importantly, spencer, it's easy on your system...