Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jan. 31

Jan. 31
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy

So, today Rob and I joined the health fitness club up by the University. Good beans.

I encourage any of the lot of you living in the area to join. It's pretty, and the more of you join that can get me to go as often as possible, the better.

After the gym thing, Melissa and I sat around and watched movies for the rest of the evening. I finally saw Across the Universe. Did not particularly enjoy it, but I can at least say I've seen it. Regardless, it was still nice spending some down time together. As of tomorrow, only two more months until apartment fun! Oh, there be excitement.

Bed time. Good night.

Jan. 30

Jan. 30
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Oh, I so forgot to update yesterday...

Was kind of uneventful. I've developed a couple of good ol canker sores as a result of the chemotherapy, and have thus picked up ambisol.

Joined a gym. Yep yep.

Additional updating later.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Jan. 29

Jan. 29
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Well, first off...

We got the apartment!! Eeeeee!! Oh yeah. I squealed.

Then the rest of the day was kind of a bust, but you know.

My legs are fucking SORE after yesterday's workout spectacular. I'm mostly hobbling around now. I had plans to go walking/jogging at the track with Rob tonight, but it turned out that there was a hockey game going on. No track for us. Went to the University. Turns out they got rid of the track years ago. We made the snap decision to go to one of the gyms, and sign up. Apparently, you can't join the 24 hour fitness center after 7pm. So we ended up at Starbucks. How novel.

Also, stupid chemo. I'm getting a sore on one of my gums. Not happy about that. Combining that with the overall sore muscles (hah. Sore and sore!... Sore is a pretty gross word, now that I think about it), I'm pretty unhappy. But that could just be because I'm fucking exhausted.

Good night!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jan. 28

Jan. 28
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
So tired. Super long day. Great day, but so busy... Here's point form, to be elaborated at a later date:

- Dropped off lease application
- Pat did an 180 on the pills. Gonna see how things go for a while... If life continues to be manageable, I might not require drugs. That'd be nice.
- Well-Fit today. Amazing. Did a bunch of strength training exercises which left me shaking and in pain, but sort of balanced it with a full half hour on the exercise bike.
- I feel like I've been beaten all over, after that workout. It's awesome. I've missed self-induced physical exhaustion, as opposed to the fatigue I've been feeling.
- I want to fill out a living will.
- I want to research green burials.

The latter two are not associated with my current state, but rather with the Psychology of Death and Dying class that I TA.

My arm hurts a bit worse, after the workout. I don't really care. I'm going to pass out now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jan. 27

Jan. 27
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Oh, I love having energy... oh, I'll miss having energy, this time next week.

Well-Fit tomorrow! Yay!


This morning, Melissa and I viewed an apartment in a building close to the university. It's awesome... We want it... It'd be close to work and school for both of us, and it's pretty cheap, to boot. Although it's not too close to the hospital, I certainly hope to not be requiring frequent trips there anymore, when the time comes.

Sooo... We filled out a lease application, and we're dropping it off tomorrow... So excited... Yay, feel like I have some purpose, etc.

Yep. Melissa and I are pretty happy.

Jan. 26

Jan. 26
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Through some sense of hivemind, my friend Deborah and I both shaved our heads (in my case, again) today, and we both got (at least at some point) mohawks.

I'm letting this fucker grow in.

Also, my hair is slowly falling out. It's about time... But it might compromise the mohawk.

I started Well-Fit today. I had an initial assessment, which included a 15 or 20 minute stress test on a stationary bike. Fancy equipment they had there, they did... To be on something that actually recreated a cycling experience was just amazing. I missed it...

I start going to Well-Fit "classes" on Wednesday. After that, it's twelve weeks, twice a week. Monday and Wednesday on my good weeks, Monday and Friday on chemo weeks.

I'm not going to feel crappy again, when I don't have to. This time, cancer fucked with the wrong guy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jan. 25

Jan. 25
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy

All googly-eyed and stuff.

It's probably all due to how much chemotherapy sucks, but as miserable as it is, the days in between rounds are sublime. I'm full of energy, I'm happy, and I'm surprisingly not bitchy. I even have a little bit of *gasp* hope.

I had a very good talk with Melissa's father about all this, earlier today. He's a really great guy, and I'm glad he and I get along so well. In talking, we sort of came to a very interesting consensus, that really made things click for me: It's deleterious to dwell on the negativity that stems from illness, however, it's plain moronic to suppress it.

Had I just about any other illness or health issue, or at least any experience I've previously had, I could count down to the approximate time it would be over. A migraine, a day, day and half. A cold, about four or five days. The flu or a sinus infection, about ten days (although I haven't had the flu in years). ... Hmm, otherwise, I've been pretty healthy. Go me.

With this, I can't count down to the end of cancer. I don't know when, or even if I'll ever be done with it. I can hope, and I can be as positive as I can about it, but I can't ignore the fact that there is a very real, albeit small, chance that this could turn around and kill me. Regardless, I don't know when I'll be "done". I can count down to what I hope will be the end of chemotherapy. I can count down to my scans. I can count down to a year from the day I was diagnosed. Two years. Three years... I can count down to any arbitrary day in the future... It still doesn't feel like I'll ever be "done" with cancer.

I'm not in despair. I'm not even that scared of it, anymore. Probably not even that upset. I've come to accept it as I would a scar. It's irreversible. It just is.

I "now" (or rather, I now am aware that I...) stand a higher chance of developing cancer (again) in my lifetime. Going by family history, I always figured I'd die of a stroke. Chances are, my lungs, liver, or prostate are going to decide to fuck me over at some point. However, my money's on leukemia. Probably this way, when I eventually do get some new cancer, I won't be as devastated. I'll go on chemo again, and I'll barter for more time, and I'll fight it. Maybe I'll win again. Maybe I won't.

I loved Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five". Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time. So it goes.

I get to live with cancer. So it goes.

Jan. 24

Jan. 24
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
There are a couple of things I wanted to talk about in this entry, but it's damn late, at least for me. I have a perpetual feeling as though I've fallen behind, and I don't have enough time to catch up. At the same time, everything has slowed down to a crawl. Each good week after chemo flies right by, but chemotherapy itself is distant and arduous.

Wow, that sounded pompous.

I feel wound up, but I want to go to sleep. I should take an Ativan, but I hate feeling woozy. I have so little time left with a clear head... Ugh... At the same time, I have the urge to get piss-drunk and sing karaoke.

Point form.
- Social worker lady (known to the rest of humanity as Pat) wants me to have an appointment with a Psychiatrist
- Pat thinks I should consider anti-depressants
- Pat has some awesome logic: I'm already on a myriad of chemicals artificially making me depressed... What's a few more milligrams of something else that'll screw with my already screwed brain chemistry?
- I hate the thought of SSRIs, but I'm feeling like a grumpy burden to myself and others
- I'm not healthy
- ???

See? Long entry made easy. Thank you, point form!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jan. 23

Jan. 23
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
What a fucker. Seriously, this cancer is just no fun.

During Tuesday's chemo, I started getting some heart palpitations. I've been having them on and off since I got the port. Last night, I had full-on chest pains. Not good, not good...

Went to the hospital today. Met with the social worker lady. She's pretty awesome. I like her. More on that next time.

Talked to my supportive care coordinator about the chest issues. Lungs sounded clean, so we did an ECG. That came out clean, too. Waiting, more waiting... Finally did a chest xray... More waiting... Finally got results and thankfully(?) all came out clean. Heart issues are probably stress/anxiety/etc. Now I've got a prescription for Ativan. More pills! Woooo!!

Drug plan kicked in, at least. Hoo boy...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jan. 22

Jan. 22
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Okay, this might be a long one.

Might as well start with the big one. I'm not handling things too well. The fact that I've just gone through the last crap-tacular round of chemo does put me onto the safe side of a small bump along the road, but the increasingly difficult chemotherapy sessions are starting to worry me. I'm exhausted. My arm is starting to feel better, but it still hurts somewhat, and I can't lift things, still. The fact that it's my dominant arm, it causes issues. All this, coupled with all the crap that I went through with my port (which they still used for chemotherapy on Tuesday), as well as some shaky self-perceptions, and I'm heading for some intense personal dread and despair.

Thus, I've done what I can only hope can be counted as a sensible and responsible choice... I'm getting my ass into some sort of makeshift therapy. The hospital offers all sorts of counseling services, including group therapy and one on one bitch-fests. The former does not appeal to me. Hearing that other people are also miserable just makes me more depressed. The latter... Well, at least I feel qualified to attend that. I do bitch a lot, so, I should have no problem. So, tomorrow, I get to see the wonderful social worker assigned to my case, and... who knows.

Monday I start in the Well-Fit program at the University. One of the perks of getting cancer in this town, it seems, is that I have access to a gym and sort of a personal trainer at the University. I need the exercise, and it's free. Therefore, I'm happy. Also in exercise land, as I mentioned before, I got a pair of track spikes. I'll at least start walking at the Rec Centre track, and hopefully when my port fully heals, I'll start running.

I need to cut my hair. It's doing that thing where it flattens on the sides, and makes me look like a giant rooster. Yes, I am neurotic.

Migraine last night was pretty damned bad. Probably the worst I've ever had. Took one of the leftover tylenol 3s, and one of the nausea meds. Somehow I got to sleep, and slept for 14 hours. It's not even 11, and I'm exhausted.

I've put on more weight. I'm approximately 178 now. Still lighter than before I got sick, but now 20lbs heavier than when I was at my worst. Body image = in shambles.

I think my hair is thinning. Might be chemo. Might be stress. Might be male pattern baldness. Probably all three. Oh well.

Still waiting to have girls' night with Melissa. We've been too bloody busy...

Funny, now that I think about it... "girls' night"... because face masks and the such are girly, right? I mean, the hospital offers a seminar called "Look good, feel great" or something of the sort. Maybe it's the other way around... It's offered to women only, however. It's all about makeup and skin care, etc. Now, I don't much care about the makeup component, but the skin care? Let me tell you, my skin has gone to hell over the last two months. .... It's only been two months. Ugh. Anyway...

My skin's always been pretty good. I drink copious amounts of water, so I guess it flushes everything out. but since I started chemotherapy, it's dry and prone to irritation. I've started washing with an alpha hydroxy face wash, and moisturizing. Girly/metrosexual? Yes. Is it keeping me from feeling like a fucking freak every time I look in the mirror? Also yes.

To best describe the effects of chemotherapy on body image, I will use this example from Penny Arcade, but herein, Gabe (the dude with the black hair) is me, and chemotherapy is wonderfully portrayed by Tycho (the ... er... other dude!)

Moral of the rambly story: Cancer patients! Take care of yourselves! Your body is a withering husk!!

Addendum: The nausea meds are called Stemetil.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jan. 21

Jan. 21
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Got a headache that exploded into a full-out migraine. So close to throwing up. Chemo isn't helping.

I'm going to try to choke down a banana, and go to bed.

Good night.

Jan. 20

Jan. 20
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Had chemo yet again. It still sucks...

1/3 of the way there. Please, please let it be 1/3 of the way there.

So tired. Way past bed time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jan. 19

Jan. 19
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Oh, damn long day.

Here's the abridged version:

- Lots of stuff to do.
- I have some great friends. Weee...
- Got track spikes so I can start running at the rec complex next week.
- I'm craving protein like crazy.
- Chemo in the morning.
- Work I have to somehow do between now and then, that won't get done.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Jan. 18

Jan. 18
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Sadly, girls' night with Melissa got postponed. One part familial obligations, and two parts laziness, and we didn't get around to it until about 11, when we decided it was too late. Ergo, hopefully tomorrow I get to be a pretty girl!

I got the chance to talk a fair bit with one of Melissa's aunts today, who went through the breast cancer fiasco a couple of years ago. It's funny that despite shared experiences, the mere fact that she's so much farther along than I am led to some inability to fully relate. I completely understand that indeed, something like this can awaken a person, and maybe it's easier to see the positive aspects of it once you're done chemo, at least, but we both agreed that while you're in the midst of it, it's pretty damned hard to see anything good.

I'm sure a lot of people are forced to re-evaluate their lives as a result of cancer. I'm sure a lot of people change their lives drastically once in remission. I, on the other hand, don't really foresee that. I was perfectly content with my lifestyle, and I miss it like fire. I was healthy, I was happy, and I was working toward something good. Sure, I've learned to no longer take some things for granted... But I learned that lesson within a month of my diagnosis. Fuck, I learned that even before I got formally diagnosed... I don't need to sit in the Chemo Suite at the hospital every other week, waiting for my veins to shrivel up and die, in order to become a "better person".

Boo-fucking-hoo for me. To paraphrase the crappy old song... It's my cancer, and I'll cry if I want to. Getting sick is definitely not showing me how strong a person I am. Instead, it's throwing me for near anxiety attacks with alarming frequency. If I stand any chance of not becoming an impoverished version of Scrooge McDuck, I need to give up and let someone more qualified take over. Otherwise, I'm headed for a massive tailspin between this arm crap, the port, chemo, cancer, and this cold that's the immune system equivalent of a major cock-tease.

Hoo, and this entry started in decent spirits...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jan. 17

Jan. 17
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Oh, I'm a fat little piggie. Buffet dinner. Might as well pack it in before chemo comes around again and appetite flies out the window.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. Melissa and I are going to have a girls' night. Oh yeah. Some face masks, maybe a little bit of hair dye... It'll be hott. That's right. Two t's for that shit.

Also, bandage adhesive makes my skin really fucking itchy. Grr...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Jan. 16

Jan. 16
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Had my dressing change today. The rather un-talkative yet quite capable (which is infinitely better than the alternative) nurse used a ton of solvent to get the dressing off my chest. I kept giggling, because I kept thinking of the "man-o-lantern" scene in the 40 Year Old Virgin. I tried finding a clip, but to no avail. To those who have yet to see Steve Carell get his chest waxed, I highly recommend it. Hi-larious.

Anyway, all that's healing up along nicely, they say. I'm glad for that... I guess I will have to get chemo in the arm again, though -- it'll be too soon to use the port. I'll ask them to run some extra saline or something, because my right arm fucking HURTS. If they mess up my left arm as well, I'm screwed. I guess I better learn to colour with my feet... Then I'll be like a little chimpanzee... Not quite as hairy, but just as rabid.

Cue chimp noises and poo-flinging. Maybe that's a tactic I'll try next time I go in for chemo. Jump up on a gurney and make monkey noises. They might give me some more of that vicadin-like sedative. Ah, how sweet it is.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jan. 15

Jan. 15
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Fuck my life.

Last round of chemo, all of a sudden I had severe pain in my arm. They stopped the treatment, wrapped my arm in hot blankets, and started it up again. Business as usual.

Eleven days later, my arm hurts. It still hurts, and it's spreading. The vein is swollen, as is the tissue around it. Oh. It would seem that's pretty much classic vein damage from chemotherapy.

I'm so sick of this fucking cancer!

If this port doesn't work, heads will fucking roll.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jan. 14

Jan. 14
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
You know, they make the port-a-cath insertion sound like it's nothing. Let me tell you, it is more than a little something.

I'll readily admit that I'm a big ol' wuss, but I'm not enjoying things one bit.

Actually, what's bugging me most is the copious amount of dressing over the chest. I've already found myself in front of the bathroom mirror with a pair of scissors hacking away at the bandages a couple of times, today. Itchy...

Been taking benadryl every few hours for the rash, and took tylenol with codeine once or twice for the "discomfort". These last few weeks really have sucked, you know?

That's about all I can say about today. Spent it working. I had/have a huge stack of data packets to enter. My omnihelpful (yay for made-up words) mother helped me with that. In other words, my morning and afternoon consisted of pressing the numbers 1 through 7 in seemingly random order, followed by the right arrow key. Her afternoon largely consisted of reading the numbers 1 through 7 in seemingly random order. No right arrow key for her, though.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jan. 13

Jan. 13
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Here are four photos from today. I'd work up a witty context and link each accordingly, but I mostly feel like shit. Hospital gowns are ugly, I easily get bored, there are a lot of things that can go wrong during a port-a-cath insertion, and the dressing is fucking bulky.

The day started off very well, actually. My dearest momsy gave Melissa and me* a ride to the hospital for my port-a-cath fun. Even the lineup in registration wasn't that bad... I was in good enough spirits, really. The second photo up there, of the glove balloon, proves that even in the face of surgery, I still believe in wasting hospital supplies.

Then came the actual procedure. The consent info did not serve to quell my apprehension, in the least... And then things got worse.

I don't know if this counts as proper irony, or just really dark fucking humor on someone's part, but this actually made me laugh (which wasn't a very good thing, given that I was laughing as they were cutting right by the jugular). The first incision proved useless, as the lymph nodes below my neck were still too swollen and densely packed to thread the catheter through. Thus came even more freezing, and then a second incision.

I never ever want to hear a surgeon say "Hmmm... that's funny..." in a concerned tone ever, ever again.

At this point I was starting to freak out a bit because I was feeling every fucking cut and blood spurt and they decided sedation was a good idea. I'll pick up on the sedative bit according to when it actually kicked in.

I can describe the level of pain you can expect to feel during a port-a-cath insertion, when the freezing doesn't do jack shit. It's sort of like the worst burning cough imaginable, except it's scraping its way through a vein and artery on the way to the heart. It doesn't hurt so much as it makes you want to claw at your chest and yell "GET IT OUT GET IT OUT GET IT THE FUCK OUT!"

One of the poor nurses was kind/unfortunate enough to hold my hand at this point, and I can only hope the damage wasn't permanent.

Only when the surgeon announced that he was on the second-to-last stitch, did the sedative kick in. I'm told the high is similar to vicodin, and if that's the case, I can understand people getting hooked on it. [insert House, M.D.-related vicodin joke]

At this point when I was incoherently babbling and getting patched and cleaned up, and I finally stopped feeling a good chunk of my chest, somehow conversation turned to pets. Turns out discussing the relatively recent death of family pets is a bad idea when under sedation.

They then wheeled me out on a stretcher to the observation room. Fun times here, let me tell you.

Melissa, who has by now qualified for the "most wonderful girlfriend on the face of the earth" award a few thousand times over, was kind enough to keep me company, as well as keep me from biting people. Let me tell you, a groggy Armand is a grumpy Armand, but a groggy Armand coming off sedation after a shitty surgery, and also now in an increasing amount of pain, is a whole other kind of treat.

Thank you, honey, for not leaving me.

I guess the awful part is, this is where my day started to go bad.

First, one of the home care nurses came to see how I was doing, and said a home care nurse would visit me at home to change my "first dressing". I said that I was already booked for the first dressing change at the Cancer Center for tomorrow morning. She said she'd look into it.

In the meantime, this wonderful, spreading, itching rash that's left me with blotchy hives over my hands and right arm was acting up again (go go gadget chemotherapy side-effects), and after some debate, we decided I should pay a visit to the Cancer Center and perhaps see my doctor.

Once discharged, following my first (and hopefully last) wheelchair trip to the Cancer Center, I missed a call telling me that I will be visited at home by one of the nurses for a dressing change. As I was listening to the message for said missed call, I got yet another call from the hospital telling me that no, no, I should come to the hospital for the dressing change after all. While on the phone, the nurse-replacement (my supportive care nurse was sick, apparently) came by with word from the doc. 50mg Benadryl + 0.5 hydrocortisone creme + Udderly Smooth. I couldn't help but think of Chris Rock's "Robitussin" sketch.

Wheelchair trip to pharmacy.

Benadryl comes in 100ml bottles... With a concentration of 12.5mg of the active ingredient per table spoon. Now I know I'm anal about some things, but you'd think they'd be able to keep it to one fucking measurement system! Perhaps if they tossed some quarts or maybe some bleeding chevrons in there, it would be obfuscating enough to drive people to stay healthier or something.

While figuring out dosage with the pharmacist (and eventually opting for the pill form, with clearly marked dosage), I also had the distinct pleasure of having some underparented runt ram into my wheelchair several times in order to reach to the candy bar display under the counter. I was holding the interac machine at that moment, and the thought of how quick and easy it would be to choke the life out of the little shit with the cord crossed my mind more than once. Oh, I'm so happy chemotherapy made me sterile.

While waiting at the hospital entrance for my mother to come pick us up, I got yet another call from the hospital: my dressing change will now take place on friday at a clinic down the road from the hospital.

What a fucking joke.

* grammar lesson: Although we're generally taught to say "...and I" when referring to the company of another person, that is oftentimes wrong. The best way to tell whether you should be using "and I" or "and me" is to take the other individual out of the sentence. Thus, my dearest momsy gave [...] me a ride to the hospital. You see what I did there? Word magic!

What, I believe in good grammar.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jan. 12

Jan. 12
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Do not let the gloomy expression fool you, I'm actually nowhere near as miserable as I look in the picture.

Today's been a pretty good day. Probably a whole bunch of things are contributing to it, but it's also the first Monday after chemo, so I'm at that sweet spot right after the chemo sickness, and before the red cells start to tank again.

In the morning, I'm off to (try once again to hopefully) get my port-a-cath. I'm sure pictures and a play-by-play will follow.

I got a call from the hospital while I was at work, detailing the procedure, etc. I'll be there at 9 to register, then there will be some massive thumb-twiddling, then surgery, then a lot of thumb-sitting. Apparently they'll be keeping me for observation and the such until 2:30 or so in the afternoon. Really now... If it requires observation... That's beginning to be a bit worrisome. Ah well. They're only aiming for a major artery... What could possibly go wrong?

Jan. 11

Jan. 11
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Well, I've finally started feeling better. It's a nice change.

I've been sleeping between 10 and 14 hours per night, and then the additional 1 or 2 hour nap.

Kinda torn between giving up on my appearance or anything of the sort, as I generally feel like crap... And then trying desperately to look and feel good, despite the cancer, etc.

Also, facial hair has started coming in BLOND. What the hell. I know it was supposed to start falling out or something, and I think it might be thinning out in some spots, but BLOND?? Crazy shit.

Tomorrow is an early day. Nap time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Jan. 10

Jan. 10
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
I got nothin'.

Jan. 09

Jan. 09
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
I thought that by delaying this entry, I might get the chance to write it while I've a) stopped wanting to set the hospital on fire, or at the very least b) no longer feel nauseous. I need only think of chemotherapy, and I begin feeling ill. That's some hell of a Pavlovian response I've got going nowadays.

I figured out why life sucks so much this round. First round of chemo, I was about 165lbs. It sucked. Second round of chemo, I was about 170lbs, but they didn't adjust for that... Lower chemo to body mass ratio. They re-adjusted for my newfound 176lb weight. And hooo boy... I am miserable.

Quarter of the way through... All I can hope is that I can get away with the 6 cycle protocol, not the 8. An extra four doses of this, and I might as well give up now.

Happy thoughts all around.

I'll try to catch up on comments and emails tomorrow. Once again, thank you for all your kind words and thoughts.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jan. 08

Jan. 08
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
I learned something very strange, today...

When you get a call from the hospital, telling you that you have a procedure scheduled for 10:30...

And your online itinerary says 10:30 as well...

You are supposed to telepathically -- nay, fucking magically know that you are supposed to be there for 9.

But that way, you get to have the blank-faced receptionist stare at you like you are a fucking moron, and say "well.. too bad for you."

No port for me today. Another week of waiting and anxiety until I finally get to have this god damned procedure. You know when I finally get to go for it? On tuesday. Right about when I should be feeling okay again, after all this chemo shit. FUCK. MY. LIFE. Fuck cancer, fuck the hospital, fuck snarky receptionists, fuck everything.

I don't have the time or the energy to deal with this crap. I don't have the energy to deal with the stuff that comes unavoidably. I don't need any more shit added from surly assholes who hate their jobs.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jan. 07

Jan. 07
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
I have a new friend. Let's call her... Uhm... Ivy...? (Hurr hurr... IV... Ivy... Get it?).

Oh, good ol classical conditioning. I feel nauseous even looking at that pic.

Actually, I feel a bit nauseous right now. Ugh. Stupid chemotherapy.

Went to work today. That was nice. It's great to find meaning in what you do, no matter what that may be. It's somehow very fitting, and somehow very macabre, but I'm TAing a Psychology of Death and Dying class this term. Today was the first class, and in my little introductory speech, I pointed out that I'm undergoing chemotherapy. I can hope it makes me somewhat more approachable to students who are dealing with similar issues, and I hope I didn't invite boundary-crushing crap, but we'll see what adventures time shall bring.

Chemo sucked, yesterday. I'm trying to remember the order of the drugs I got. The last one, which I thought was Doxorubicin (but it ain't!), resulted in HOLY SHIT FUCKING PAIN in my arm. That wasn't too good. Reading up on the ABVD drugs now, I realize it's not the Dox. The Dox, however, is also nicknamed the Red Devil, or Red Death. And it makes my pee pink.

I think it was the Dacarbazine. Either way, it sucks.

I really wish I hadn't gotten this stupid cold overtop of the sickness. My lips are cracked and I've got a fucker of a sinus infection. Blowing yellow snot does not add to my dwindling general feeling of health and happiness.

It is what it is. Only four more months. And a week. After that, it's a new life... The day I finish, which I hope will be on or around May 12th, will be my unofficial new birthday.

Speaking of birthday... Which, in my chemotherapy-induced quasi-schizophrenic state, made me think of birthday prezzies, I realize I've neglected to mention the wealth of gifts I've received from friends and the like, over the last couple of months. For once, I won't be a prick about it, and just say thanks :)

Tomorrow I see one of the hospital social workers about the drug plan stuff. Submitting receipts, etc. After that, I go for my surgery. Hurray port-a-cath. Then, I hope to get some groceries, and then, it's more bad movies for me. Among a couple others, I finally watched From Dusk Till Dawn yesterday. I cannot stress how ridiculously awesomely awful that movie is. If you've got some brain cells to kill, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jan. 06

Jan. 6
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Oh, fuck cancer.

Cycle two, round one. I don't recall my arm hurting during chemo before.

The drowziness begins with the benadryl, and it doesn't stop.

Food already tastes like shit, but I'm used to that from the cold. I'll give a more ... real... ish... update tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Jan. 05

Jan. 05
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Judging by my oft-furrowed brow, I'm starting to think I'm developing a perma-scowl. I wonder why that would be.

I went to the hospital today for blood work and a meeting with my doc. Got some work done in between my appointments... The awesomeness of real life is setting in, again. My holiday vacation certainly was very un-vacation-like.

I have a really great doctor, and I really must be thankful for that. She's very encouraging, and I'm glad to have her on my side. She said I'm making good progress, and hopes I'll be done after six cycles. One down, five to go. I guess that means two rounds of chemo down, ten more to go. Stupid cancer.

After two more cycles (four rounds, 56 days), I'll have a new CT and gallium scan. If those show that there is no more lymphoma, I'll be done by May. May... If all goes well, May 12 I get my last round of chemotherapy. May 12 I can say I kicked cancer's ass. May 12 I get to not be cancer boy anymore.


Some days I wonder if I'll ever stop being cancer boy. It's such an integral part of my identity now, that I think I might just grieve the loss of hospitals and needles and sickness.

Or not.

Jan. 04

Jan. 04
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
And I forgot to blog again. Sheesh.

I'm sick. At times, I feel good. At times, I feel like I do right now.

Today's been a day of liquids and vitamins. I hope they are having at least some positive effect.

Tomorrow it's off to the doctor's, bright and early, and then it's back to real life... Hurray... or not...

I really hope this fucking cold doesn't interfere with chemotherapy...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jan. 03

Jan. 03
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
So, I got a cold. I can't breathe, and I'm irritable and fucking hell, I don't know if it's the chemo or just some good old fashioned neurological dysfunction, but I'm dropping everything and everything is getting caught on everything else and klds832jklfdas. Yep. That's right. klds832jklfdas.

That, and I've turned... gelationous... It seems as though all the muscle I had built up over the summer what with the constant biking and the such, has been replaced. That, in tandem with the cold and the low red count and whatnot, I'm winded after walking up a flight of stairs. I believe I've made mention of this before: I used to sprint up four stories in the Psych building on campus, and not even feel it. Thirteen steps from the main floor, to my bedroom. They. Kill. Me.

I feel old and tired and fat and useless.

Also, my hair is not falling out. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sad about that... But it makes me wonder if the chemo is working right, somehow. Maybe because I've cut it so short, it's not thinning out as badly. That must be it. *nervous chuckle*

Addendum: Provided I'm not completely dead, tomorrow I get on the exercise bike. I've been putting it off because I've been feeling crappy and just been getting involved in all sorts of time-consuming stuff, but that's it. I won't feel any better if I don't get some exercise.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Jan. 02

Jan. 02
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
My nose is runny and cracking. I'm afraid I'm getting a cold, and that makes me very unhappy.

I know my sleep's been rather lacking lately, and I'm hoping that was the sole reason behind it, but today I slept in like mad. Then again, this is when my red counts are down to all hell, again, so that might explain it, too.

I'm supposed to head back to work and real life on Monday, but my schedule is like this:

Monday: bloodwork, meeting with the doc
Tuesday: chemo
Thursday: port insertion
Friday: follow-up

Yeah, world, I swear, I'm still capable and productive.

Done some good cookin' today. Yummy snack: sunflower seed whole wheat bread + La Sauvagine brie + finely chopped portobello under the broiler = crazy delicious.

Addendum:Fuck you, media. I'm watching TV. I never watch TV. But I accidentally selected the "program channel" button on my TV, and it scanned for all channels within reception. Keep in mind, I don't even have rabbit ears on my TV, so I get, in theory, 3 channels. One comes in that is remotely watchable. Anyway, I've got it droning in the background while I'm catching up on emails, etc. It's some craptacular crime drama. One of the victims, though? Oh yeah, she had stomach cancer. It spread to other organs. Hair falling out from chemo. Fuck you, cancer, fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou! Stop following me around!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Jan. 01

Jan. 01
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
So far, 2009 is not too bad...

Met up with Rob today and tempted fate by getting "food" at Fast Eddie's in Cambridge today. I think I'm going to beat cancer and then promptly die of a heart attack.

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since chemo. I go again on tuesday. Blech. Not looking forward to more of the same.

I'm getting my port inserted on the 8th. Not really looking forward to that, either. Being forced to relax a bit is doing me wonders... Now if only I could have the somewhat happy and appreciative lifestyle without the cancer. That'd be just lovely.