It is more important to know where you are going, than how long it takes to get there.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Are We There Yet?...

I am half way through chemotherapy. With the risk of sounding like a whiner, I am ready for it to be over now. The last few days I have felt somewhat normal, with the occasional queasy stomach. Knowing that I am going to feel not so great after Tuesday, for an entire week, is bumming me out. I feel like I'm a little girl, back in the car, whining to my parents, "Are we there yet?" (I hear that question anytime we drive to a destination further than the mall.)

After chemotherapy I have morning sickness type of feelings that can creep up on me at anytime, but medication zaps it right away. The second week after chemo, I am exhausted. However, this second week, I am picking up my own leash and taking myself for a walk every morning. But, after I eat breakfast, I go back to sleep for 3-4 hours. I have two other side effects that are bothersome: a metallic taste in my mouth and a sore in my throat. My taste buds are shot. Water tastes metallic. Food doesn't taste like it should. I get a craving for something, but am disappointed when I eat it because it doesn't taste right. Unfortunately, it doesn't keep me from eating! My throat feels like they just pulled out the tube from surgery. I knew before chemotherapy that sores in the throat and mouth could form as a side effect. Gargling with hot salt water helps.

I don't know why I am bumming because I only have to go in for chemo every two weeks. My oncologist told us that they type of chemotherapy I am taking, CA, used to be given even three weeks because patients would get so sick. She said that it would take patients three weeks to recover from vomiting and other side effects. Medicine has come a long way in a short time; the Emend and Compazine are taking care of the nausea for me.

My head still looks like an anorexic porcupine. A few more white spots are beginning to show. I asked my mom about the scar on my head, and she said to blame my brothers. That sounds about right, but it probably is from one of the "agony of defeat" falls I took skiing as a kid. If you ski hard, you fall hard. My head always feels like I have wet hair - not like I have phantom hair syndrome, but the coolness of the scalp. (I don't know if there is such a thing as phantom hair syndrome - I just made it up.) If I am outside in the garden early in the morning without a hat, I can feel the sun the moment it touches my head. I am never in the sun without a hat, nor do I leave my neighborhood without some type of head covering. My most popular hat is one that says, "Cancer Sucks" on the front. It got the best reactions at the hardware store. I love the smell of hardware stores; it reminds me of my childhood, Merced, McNamara Hardware, and all the men standing around telling lies.

Whacky thought for the day...
Yesterday I walked to and on the beach. At 7:45 a.m. a woman had her camp set up: beach chair, blanket, ice chest and stack of magazines. Can you say "Massachusetts raisin?" (Note to Californians: Most east coasters are obsessed with tanning. I see more real dark tans here than I ever did in California.) Can you say "melanoma?"

1 comment:

  1. You're amazing, Keval - we miss you all and are thinking of you all the time! -Allison Park