It’s been eleven weeks (give or take a day or so) since we selected seedlings to plant out in the extended vegetable garden. The nursery visit was a distraction from the commencement of chemo that April Fool’s Day afternoon.
In less than two weeks, I will start four weeks of daily radiation therapy. Somewhere along the way, my hair will begin to grow again.
After that, there will be decisions about medication that holds the prospect of longer-lasting side effects than either the chemotherapy or radiation. It is clear that serious discipline around exercise and nutrition will be required to manage and maintain my health and fitness from this point on.
Chemo isn’t just about the chemicals. It’s the last taste of coffee for a couple of weeks and starting a new library book. And on this last round, it’s anticipating the next dodgy fortnight of fatigue and other side effects. More importantly, it’s about the people who look after you.
This is Sue. I came into the last session today with this hat, lovingly brought back from India by our daughter to add to my ‘being bald’ collection. Silliness is contagious.
Sue has been my oncology nurse over the past two months. She brings compassion, competence, a no-nonsense approach, and a wonderful sense of humour to her work and her patients. There’s not much I’ll miss about this business of chemo. I will, however, remember Sue and her team with great affection and admiration.
Wednesday night brought a late fly-in visitor to stay, and Thursday saw my first outing of this third chemo cycle. We went to the real Funky Mexican Cantina for a chimichanga and some people watching by the bay. Except for the odd day, nothing has impacted my appetite for food! In the afternoon we played chess. I was always going to lose this game, with or without a befuddled brain. The pleasure for me was that it was a defeat that took some time for my opponent to secure.
When you’re somewhat isolated from the pleasures of partaking in regular daily activities, the smallest things can give you a lift. Especially when you’ve spent a few days being not particularly interested in anything at all.
So when you get a frisson of excitement from remembering that there’s a bottle of ginger ale in the pantry and ice cubes in the freezer, that’s a good day.