Another dose of humility.
By evening time on tuesday, I could really feel my skin starting to react to the erbitux. Strange that the first week it did almost nothing, but then snapped to with the dose on monday. It has been getting progressively worse and more evident since. The slight embarrassment at looking like a pimply teen aside, it is incredibly painful (much more so than it looks). A feeling that mixes the best parts of deep seeded acne and wind/sunburn. It occurs to me that this is the first side effect that has a really visible manifestation. (um.. what about loosing all your hair and getting all freckly from the 5fu last time, Caldwell? Oh yeah.. right. but that wasn’t ugly.. or painful). What I mean is that you can’t SEE nausea or chemo brain or headache or joint pain. Last time I went through a 6 month stint of chemo people would say, “gosh.. but you look great!” and I could say, “thanks.. I’m hanging in there..” Already this time it’s different. People see me and ask how I’m doing, and I feel compelled to explain why I don’t look so good.. “the chemo’s really kicking the shit out of me.”
I don’t love it. It will get much worse.
My energy level has been ok. The monday top up only set me back for a day or so. Wednesday I felt more or less energetic and I’ve been holding steady since then. So the addition of the off week dose seems like it’ll shorten, but not do away with, my every other week window of feeling ok.
We had a great Thanksgiving. In the end we were a motley crew of around 20 people. I dry-brined the turkey this year, which is a misnomer, but it’s what I’ve been calling it anyway. Brine, by definition, is wet. True brining is also kind of messy and takes up a lot of room in your fridge since you need a container that can hold everything. Instead I made a dry rub of salt and zizzed up herbs, covered the bird with it, and put it in the fridge in an oven bag for a few days.
Last year, some of you may remember, I dressed the turkey in a bacon sweater. This year, when I stopped by the pig folks at the farmer’s market, they were already out of bacon, but had fat back for a dollar a pound. NICE! So this year the turkey got a down comforter!!
Perhaps not as cute as the sweater, but let me tell you, it did the trick! It was without question the best bird I’ve made. Super tender breast meat without the sogginess that can happen if you’re not careful with brine. After just 15 years or so of making thanksgiving dinner, I think I’ve landed on the way I like to do the bird.