Monday, May 31, 2010

1/2 way there! 84 days down, 84 to go. Photo update on my chest, retaining wall update and the rhythms of chemo

Today is a big day. 84 days of chemo done, 84 to go! Yeah, 84 days may sound like a long time to go, but when you're starting at 168 days, 84 seems pretty good! So assuming everything goes according to plan, I'm over the half way mark today. So all downhill from here!

Tomorrow morning I get my PICC line and then my sixth (of 12) infusions and I will be halfway done with treatments as well. The last few days have been pretty nice. My chest is healing up pretty nicely from where Pete once hung out:

It's been nice to have no hardware in my body for a few days! I did notice Pete a bit when I laid on my stomach in bed and Susan was always a bit tentative about hugging me on my left side for fear of hurting Pete. I wanted to get a swim in this weekend since I don't think I'll swim with the PICC line in. But it's been a busy weekend (all fun stuff!) so I didn't get a chance to swim.

I took Friday off and got some good work done on the retaining wall. Saturday we got a good 28 mile road ride in around Boulder (Susan and I), then yesterday and today some mad work to get the retaining wall done. It's still got a bit of fine tuning to do but basically we're in business:

And we had a good project manager to keep us on track:
We had great fun going to The Tree Farm in south Longmont (a mile west of 287 on CO 52) and picking out the plants. Highly recommended if you've never been there before. Lots of variety and very helpful staff. I don't think the prices are super great but with perennials you'd really like to have the plants actually thrive so we don't usually look for the absolute best bargain on plants.

Not much more to report on. I do seem to be getting a bit of the Stockholm Syndrome wrt to chemo. It's getting harder and harder to remember what life was like before chemo. I've gotten used to the 14 day rhythm. Here's basically what my two weeks look like now:

  • Monday morning - get chemo.  As others on the web have noted (see this post from my chemo buddy Josh), the DTIC can make you feel a bit funky but it's never been too horrible for me. Ok during the afternoon. Sleep Monday night is usually a bit difficult. Tend to have heartburn and acid reflux but so far Tums have been enough to manage it. I did one bad thing one Monday which was to go to Chipotle after getting chemo. I used to really like Chipotle but something disagreed with me that Monday afternoon following chemo and now I literally don't want to even go into a Chipotle and the thought of eating their food makes me queasy. I sound just like a pregnant woman, eh? 
  • Tues/Wed - ok (probably in the high 70s on the 0-100 scale). Feel a bit off but nothing too bad. GI track starts to slow down.
  • Thurs/Fri, or sometimes Wed/Thurs - my worse two days. GI track slows WAY down, spend the majority of the day feeling bloated and relatively unhappy. Some nausea, some wooziness. Working out definitely helps with all of these symptoms but it's hard to get going when you're not feeling that great. The hardest part of feeling bad these days is doing individual work in the office. When I'm in meetings it's easy to forget how I feel. But when I'm stationary, sitting in my office, it's hard to avoid the nagging feeling that you Don't Feel So Good.
  • Sat/Sunday - turn the corner days. GI track starts to get straightened out, nausea goes away, start to feel pretty normal. Sometime I get a little sag on these days and have to nap a bit. I would probably feel this way during week one on other days but during the week I'm at work (which is pretty sedentary) and on the weekends I'm more active and tend to get a little run down by the end of the day.
  • Week Two - Monday-Sunday. Generally increasing levels of feeling good. GI gets back to normal, no fogginess, energy level higher, workouts are easier and more fun.

I'm really looking forward to getting to the end of a two week period and not having to get back on the infusion band wagon! Another 12 weeks and I'll be there.

I'll post tomorrow with some more Fun With Infusion pictures of my new PICC line.

Onward to August 23rd! (My last day of chemo given the current schedule).

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