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February 19, 2010

Day 3 - Eat, Sleep, and Be Unwell


Cisplatin is the current chemo drug of choice for head and neck cancers. Cancer cells don't like it and neither do I. It works in combination with radiotherapy to "sensitize" the cancer cells into committing suicide through a process called apoptosis because these renegade bastards forgot how to do it by themselves.

The impact of the drug is mainly fatigue in my case. I do have some stomach issues, don't really feel like eating, but Claire keeps reminding me that the fight is about staying hydrated and fed, so I eat, sleep, and generally feel unwell.

The stuff singles out fast growing cells like epithelial cells (basically the the tube from stem to stern in mammals) and causes all kinds of nasty side effects. I hope my adventure is limited in that arena.

Xander was my ferry last night to the rads and as usual any time with Xander, sick or not, is fun even when you're about to be baked under the Death Star at the Rohnert Park Cancer Center. He gave me a gift which will help me on my return from the cave: "Lead Guitar Licks". I think he's trying to tell me something.

Ugh. I feel sick, but not sick. It's kind of like a malaise that just hangs on me like an old coat you never liked, that defines me in a way I do not appreciate nor, for the moment, do I have energy to change. The heaviness is the treatment I know and I will get through this. But it sucks mightily.

I'm thinking about D (love you kid), and J and all those on the Cancer Survivors Network who I commune with daily. Most are going through or have gone through what I'm going through. In reading their stories I get inspiration and perspective. This wont last long.

I know a lot of shit happened yesterday, but my memory is foggy. I know I had the hiccups again and they lasted for a couple of hours. Miraculously they ended just as I was strapped to the rad table which made me feel a bit better. At least the beams would be more on target than if I was bouncing around like an ant on a hot plate.

Anyhow, I very much appreciate the calls and best wishes. Please keep them coming and please remember Claire is working overtime trying to care for me and the kids and work and the house. She is a blessing to me and this family.

Posted by Michael at February 19, 2010 03:24 PM