3rd Cycle - What is that smell?


I completed my 3rd cycle last week and it looks like there is a cumulative effect. I lost my appetite for food though tried to drink fluids and eat. Not really interested in dinner. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was nothing more than exhaustion and digestive issues. I slept a lot and pretty much felt miserable during the weekend. I popped a lot of anti-nausea pills. Mainly it felt like whatever I ate and drank just sat on my stomach. Monday morning I'm feeling a lot better and was probably due to eating dinner Sunday night.

I also have a heightened sense of smell. I smell dirt that Tyler doesn't notice. Coffee smells bad. I feel like I want a shower constantly. Just the drugs messing with me. I'm hoping this sensitivity goes away in the next couple of days.

Today is my Nuelasta shot (3/4 strength) and my head MRI. The MRI is to satisfy the outstanding question of "why scan my mid-section and upper body, but not my head". I honestly don't want to know the results but I'm sure they will be fine. Tomorrow is my doctor's appointment and then off to Idaho on Thursday.

Last week was also a fairly busy business week which may have sapped my energy also. For the Idaho trip, I made sure I had the location/directions to the local hospital and checked up on what I need to take my prescriptions on the flight. Hopefully everything will be fine and will get some rest. Of course it looks like I will have internet access at the lake so of course I will do some work.

Basically, for me, the 3rd cycle was the one that showed me that I really wasn't going to do this like a cake walk. I'm trying to summon up the courage for cycle 4 and will be overjoyed when that is done. I guess this is the "fight" portion of treatment.

Migraines and more


Started to get a headache in the afternoon that turned into a full migraine by 7pm. Tried taking a Vicadin and aspirin. Neither made any difference because within 15 minutes I was throwing up. This is 14 days after my last chemo. I had the same thing happen about 12 days after the first cycle of chemo. So I don't know if this is really related to chemo or just a lucky coincidence that I get food poisoning between chemo treatments.

Of course I'm dreading next week (3rd cycle). I just need to put myself in a better mindset. Last night didn't help, but at least by the end of next week I'll only have one more cycle to go.

At this point, the only thing really bothering me about the surgery is the scar. It is almost fully healed and I've now been to the gym twice. After the gym the surgery area (scar and upper left leg) begin to feel sore but not to bad.

Still amazing that all of this (surgery and chemo) has happened in 2 months, since the surgery was April 20th.

Eating Dirt


Had a doctor's appointment yesterday. Blood work looks very good. The doctor said I was handling the treatments very well. He looked surprised as he said this. May have been because I was in "logic" mode and was pushing to schedule the next round of treatment, the Nuelasta shot, and next doctor's appointment. I'm going to Idaho on July 2nd and was pushing the doctor to schedule his appointment around that. Basically if I'm doing well with this, I get to have a life also.

Monday was my hard day again. This time getting dizzy and head rushes. Just a few moments but enough to make me lay down. My energy level came back around Tuesday evening and gets better everyday.

Now to "Eating Dirt".
A good friend stopped by last night and brought me dirt from a church in Mexico. It is I guess "holy" dirt and cures anything. So, I have a dirt remedy, some kind of tea remedy, ginger, garlic, a Mexican cream, and some kind of supplement that I'm supposed to take.

Hmmm. I'm still letting western medicine take its course. But all these alternative therapies that have been suggested or given to me have a place also. By that I mean they are given/suggested out of love. Everyone wants to cure the cancer and are jumping into help. The problem with comparing western therapies to alternative therapies is proof. There are studies to back up western medicine and only anecdotal evidence for alternative therapies. But I believe that alternative/natural remedies have to have the belief quotient in order to work. This can't be tested in a lab. So if you believe eating dirt or massive amounts of garlic will cure the cancer, then it just might.

Consider the choice between taking natural supplements versus getting pump full of toxins. All things being equal, give me the garlic. But I've eaten garlic all my life and I still got cancer. Maybe I didn't eat enough.

Okay, get ready, a hippie moment:
What is the harm of sprinkling a few grains of holy dirt on some food? Ugh gross, right? What about injecting yourself with basically platinum, a poisonous metal? Someone gave me dirt that they believe in and have prayed over and it is "infused" with their love for me. Why reject the power of prayer? Why not believe in the power of God/Universe/{insert you favorite religious entity here} and that there is a power greater than or equal to western medicine.

Basically I take it all. Even the western medicine is "dispensed" with love. My oncologist doesn't hate me. He is giving me what he truly believes will help me. Same with the alternatives. Of course I'm not actually taking all the alternative therapies as I'm taking chemo. I have to believe in the chemo and not add all sorts of variables to the process. But when chemo is done and my next CT scan results come back, I might have to really investigate the alternatives. But probably not. I believe enduring four cycles of chemo is going to cure me. That is what I have to believe in right now.

I'm now planning a trip with a good friend to Key West in September. I told the oncologist that I'm going on this trip regardless of what happens. Of course September is the height of hurricane season. So I'll see if my current good luck streak holds out!

End of Cycle 2


The 2nd cycle was a little harder than the first but not unbearable. I think it was the cold/flu I got the week before. More tired than the first week. Also had 2 days with hiccups. Nurses talked about prescribing Thorizine and Adavan. More pills. No. Stayed away from acidic foods (coffee, strawberries, etc) and did fine.

Best part of this cycle was having the two IV's put in during the week, both on the first try. The 2nd time the put in the IV (Thursday), I drank water and hot tea, but didn't drink as much water the day before. I did have them put on the heating pad on my arm before they attempted the insert.

Did pretty well during the week relying on my business partners. I would start working and get frustrated/angry (for no good reasons). Melissa and Scott picked up the slack for me.

Had energy Friday night. Maybe the Gatorade. Water gets pretty old and the Gatorade seems to hit the spot.

Going to get my hair trimmed down even further today. Patches started coming out. Not a big deal, but I will want my hair back!

Still have a little irritation with the surgery scar, but for the most part am walking around fine again.

2nd Cycle


I'm now on my 2nd cycle of chemo. The goal this week was to have the IV go in on the first try. After pestering numerous nurses the following seemed to work like a charm.

Day before chemo, drank about 64 - 80 oz of water.
Day of chemo in the morning had a cup of coffee, 20oz of water, and cup of hot tea. Wore long sleeve shirt and asked for a heating pad before the IV was put in. The trick was lots of fluids and keeping the forearm warm.

Loosing more of my hair. Now it is blotchy so I need to get in to get it trimmed further down. I do want my hair back, but I can live with hats for a while. It is funny, I have never really felt the breeze on my scalp.

Mom has been with me this week and that has been good. Nurses thought it was funny we were playing a dice game. It is nice to have her around.

So far this week things are more under control. By taking the Prilosec I only had a few hiccups on Tuesday as opposed to the first Tuesday where the hiccups/heartburn were out of control. I still take at least one Campazine (anti-nausea pill) which helps with the hiccups. Still a bit of steroid rage but I sense it pretty quickly. Slept 2 hours after getting home from treatment (after making a stop at a book store and the grocery store). Then slept pretty well during the night (up only once to go to the bathroom).

Getting to the point that I barely notice any surgery pain. Also the cold/flu I got last week is clearing up.

So, so far so good this week!