So if you’ve never had cancer, maybe you’re wondering what it’s like. I don’t recommend it to anyone. The most significant thing about cancer, and yet the last thing I thought of, is that it can kill you. Almost any cancer will if untreated. Fortunately I posses an unusual blend of stubbornness and self confidence that allowed me to avoid this notion for quite some time, and I stll don’t dwell on it. But my tumor is inoperable, and my treatment options, while potentially effective, are limited.
A large consequence of my treatment has been forced early retirement from work.My treatment schedule combined with the side effects make it completely impossible for me to do any type of work on a regular basis. I miss using problem solving skills, I miss interacting with my coworkers and business associates, I miss having a reason to leave the house, I miss my paycheck.
I also can’t drive, and am often to tired or weak to walk or bicycle any distance, not to mention confusion and memory issues make it a challenge to find my way when I do venture outside.
Chemotherapy keeps me in the hospital for up to two weeks at a time, hooked to IV drips that greatly restrict movement, and sentenced to hospital food. The first day home from a chemo session is usually spent showering, sleeping, eating real food and sleeping some more. The remainder of the week usually contains the ‘good days,’ often with enough strength to venture outside, walk the dog, and occasionally even to drink a beer. Then, what the doctors call ‘nadir,’ the low point in the cycle of blood production hits, and its back to bed for a few days. Right about when that fades, maybe a couple more good days, then it’s time to check back into the hospital for another round.
On the bright side, I’m not often actually in pain, I do have those ‘good days’ to spend with Sayer, and I get by on the hope that someday this will all be a distant memory.