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January 30, 2005

Popping Cancer Update: Here's how it's gonna be.

I just (Sunday night at about 7:45 p.m.) had a call from my oncologist, who was eager to fill me in on the fun we're gonna have starting tomorrow morning. I have three treatments, one each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

In addition to the side effects I'm familiar with from chemotherapy (nausea, cramping, muscle pain, fever, hair loss, yadda yadda), there are a couple new possibilities with the "medication" they're dropping in my veins tomorrow.

One is seizures. That's right, up to a couple days after each treatment, I could have seizures. Also, confusion. He didn't really explain confusion, so it might be anything from "why did I come upstairs?" to "This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife! How did I get here?"

Another fun possibility, my personal favorite, is: bleeding from my kidneys! Yes! There's a drug they'll give me for this, but no promises.

I'm getting there at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. I stay a quick and breezy SIX HOURS, then repeat for the next two days.

Jealous yet?

If not, this will put you over the edge: doc said that even if it works (and the numbers are against me, but then again, I've always beaten the odds for better and for worse in the past), it's not gonna cure anything.

That's right! Metastatic sarcoma is not curable. The best we can hope for is to knock it down and get a remission for a couple years. It's always gonna come back eventually.

This is where reputations as fighters and "strong" human beings get made. Not that we are strong, those of us who fight cancer, but that we make it day by day until something happens one way or another.

If you had told me at 18 that I would have the strength to make it through 8 years, on and off, of cancer treatments and a bone marrow transplant, I'd have thought you a fool.

But you do it one day at a time. You live today. You survive this hour. Before long, they add up.

That's the goal right now - to make it through tomorrow. If I am strong enough tomorrow evening, I'll send up a post to let you know I'm well, or at least alive. If not, I'll get the wife to do so.

Whatever you're doing Monday, be glad you're doing it.

Peace to you.

Posted by Dan at January 30, 2005 08:54 PM

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Comments

I'll probably be doing a lot of lounging around on Monday, some reading and maybe watch a movie. Perhaps I'll go to see Royal Tenenbaums at Kennedy School late that evening.

I'm definitely glad I'll be doing that. Because, frankly, bleeding from the kidneys certainly sounds impressive, but it doesn't sound like much fun.

Oy, I say. I'll send the good thoughts your way. Remission, here we come!

Posted by: Joel Caris at January 30, 2005 10:09 PM

Joel, if I'm given the choice of accompanying Danny or you tomorrow, I'll have to get back to you. Why would intentionally go see the Royal Tenenbaums, unless you were trying to make Danny feel better? One of life's ten worst movies!

Posted by: Doug at January 30, 2005 10:38 PM

Oh, Doug, what's wrong with your taste in movies? The Royal Tenenbaums is absolute genius. A great, great, great movie.

Wes Anderson is magnificent.

Posted by: Joel Caris at January 30, 2005 11:58 PM

Dan, you're in my thoughts.

As an aside, I've found that if you can break the day down into 1/4 increments (make it through the next six hours, etc.) it's much more manageable, in my own experience.

P.S. David Byrne, yes!

Joel: Royal Tennenbaums, yes!

Posted by: Ara at January 31, 2005 08:41 AM

Only 6 hours worth? HECK Dan! You can make it through that in a snap... And just remember if you do get sick, hug the toilet tightly so there is less to clean up afterwards. That is the least you can do afterall...

Oh, what to do while not having chemotherapy? Lets see... I think I'll take my 13 year-old son to the Neurologist so that I can have the doc tell me I shouldn't have let him go cold turkey off his medicine even though he is doing much better and hasn't had a stinkin' migraine in quite some time now! Yeah! That sounds like a plan. (Did I mention before that doctors are not God? Okay! Just thought I'd throw that in there!)Then I'll go visit my dear friend Phyllis who has ALS who has been in some form of a hospital since 2004. (See it sounds worse than saying November or December) And then I'll come home and start school for the day with same said kid. Of course, I cannot forget the major Monday clean-up that always comes from having 4 males around all weekend! Did I mention males can be slobs? heh heh

BTW: I can say I have seen Garden State now! We'll discuss THAT when you're able to.... Well there is that... SO keep looking forward won't you?

Posted by: Cam at January 31, 2005 09:10 AM

I'm thinking about you man. Thinking, praying, worrying, etc... Be a tough little soldier and get through this just like you did before. Would you like my mom to make you some cool head kerchiefs like she did last time? Let me know! I'll be happy to pick out some clever and funny fabric so you'll be the envy of the oncology unit.

Posted by: Bonnie at January 31, 2005 11:15 AM

Bonnie,

I actually thought of asking you to get her to do that. The last ones worked so well. You'll remember the camoflage one even survived The Loch Ness Monster ride at Busch Gardens.

I would at least like a formal black kerchief for Sundays!

Posted by: Big Dan at January 31, 2005 04:28 PM

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