by the tail

So this round is off to a strange start. I never really recovered last round. Never got back to the baseline that I expect. The best I felt was Sunday night, right before having to start up again, when I put on my wedding suit, my only suit, and took Hill out to dinner for valentines day. We share a bank account.. Maybe she took me out! Hard to know. We had a lovely time at Il Posto Accanto, a quiet little wine bar that serves food out of the kitchen of the italian restaurant next door. It’s a beautiful little menu full of well prepared bites.

I was really dreading this round because last round was so hard. I’ve been anxiously waiting to see if the worsening trend continues, or if maybe the thing has peaked and will flatten out, or start to ease off. It started out all right. The oxaliplatin didn’t hit quite as hard and fast as usual. Most times, withing 20 minutes of it starting to drip I can feel it. Hard to describe what I’m feeling exactly.. chemo brain setting in, gurgling in the stomach, general flu like symptoms, etc..

The pain that I’ve been complaining about, however, started a little earlier than it did last round, and by the time I was walking home, it had ramped up to the worst I’ve felt it. FAST. From nothing to VERY severe over the span of about an hour and a quarter. Special Ed walked me across the park and then rode his bike home while I got on the train. The pain continued to develop. Rocket ship trajectory.. just worse and worse. By the time I got home I wasn’t sure if I’d ever been in more pain. The strange thing is that it was cracking me up. I couldn’t stop laughing. Almost like the pain was so severe that I was having some sort of out of body experience.. observing the pain from outside, and laughing at the absurdity of how fast it had come. I was in a GREAT mood. Feeling no nausea whatsoever! I took a couple of oxycodone and some extra strength motrin and lay down in bed. Still laughing and having a great time. It took about 45 minutes for the stuff to kick in, but when it did, it worked. Pain gone. Vanished. The new element is the motrin. My doc had the thought that if this pain was somehow inflammation related that narcotics might not do as good a job as an anti-inflammatory. Good thinking, doc!

At around eight I peeled myself out of bed and actually cooked for the girls! The first time that I’ve managed to cook on a treatment monday. It was almost as though the pain came in swinging for the fences, and knocked every other side effect right out of the park. So when the pain was under control, nothing else was left. Hallelujah! Chicken and Gai lan with black bean sauce!

Pain started to surge again after dinner. More drugs. I slept pretty well. It’s there again this moring, but manageable. No nausea still. If the motrin horse pills continue to keep the pain under control, this could turn out to be a much easier round than last. Fingers crossed!

I’ll go in again this morning, for day two of drip drip. Day two starts with benadryl, which usually knocks me right out. A nice nap while he pushes in the erbitux and leukovorin.

I’m feeling optimistic. I’m not interested in loosing another two weeks to this treatment. Hoping like hell that this round I manage to be more productive than the last.

0 Replies to “by the tail”

  1. I’m so happy to hear that managing the pain has gone well so far this round! I hope it keeps up like that. It’s time you had a little break from the hell. Your ability to laugh in the face of such suckitude is amazing. It’s inspiring.

  2. Love the look of steely determination here…Our Valentine’s Day was spent in the kitchen. We tried both your calamari and lamb recipes. Both were excellent, but with slight variations. We did a chipotle aioli and rosemary on the lamb. (we were at the store late and they didn’t have mint.) Thanks again for sharing.

  3. My stomach was in knots reading about the pain. Thanks for the update, and I’m glad you got to cook again. I’m kind of amazed that you ever go OUT to dinner, with the way you cook! Later man. I’m rootin’ for you.

  4. My son was born 6 weeks premature and suffered from Hylan-Membrane Disease(his lungs were not fully formed). He fought the respirator and it was touch and go the first few days. I came home from the hospital without him in a complete state of depression coupled with those lovely post partum hormones. On his 4th day in NICU I arrived at the hospital to find him in the incubator wearing little sunglasses that were fastened to his head with velcro (he was jaundiced). I had been crying in the elevator on the way up to see him, but when I saw those sunglasses and velcro(!) I burst out laughing and could not stop. Everything turned around that day…off the respirator…I could hold him, etc. Heres hoping your laughter at the sometimes absurdity of it all will find you turning corners, too, Ezra!

  5. Will be thinking about you all day, all week. Heck, I will be thinking about you until this whole thing is over and you are back to perfect health!

  6. Hey Ezra,
    I’ve picked up reading your blog again a few weeks ago after I discovered you were under siege for the second time. It’s quite a story!
    It must have been very strange, ‘laughing all the way home’ while being on such a painful treatment.
    I can only hope the rest of this round will be less uncomfortable than the last.
    All the best from a grey Netherlands!!!

  7. Ez, are you taking any vitamin supplements to help curb the effects of the chemo? I just went through a two-day course with that friend of mine who was diagnosed with breast cancer and they have some pretty impressive findings on how the integration of supplements in with your chemo or radiation decreases the side effects of those treatments. Lots of amazing information from these folks. Check them out. They’ll even work with people outside of Vancouver by phone.

  8. hey Mr E–

    A lesson for us all, when in doubt for your life and for the integrity of your body and soul, laugh, if it is all you can do. And maybe the laughter will drive out the dread, and in this case, your laughter seems to be saying that while yes we are our bodies, on another level we are not our bodies. and though that doesnt really say it, I can feel something along with you here– or believe along with you, or be amazed and honored that you are sharing this insanely painful experience with words of eloquence and such power. Damn. courage!!

  9. Lyle and I are sticking with you, remotely, but we read your words and are rooting for you. Sometimes pain can mean good things… that the fight is alive, that your body is still strong. Keep going! We love you.

  10. Kept you in my thoughts last week while I was in town and cooking in my little kitchen. Loved Harlem and will come back and look you up when the trees have leaves and you are feeling better. You look like such a winner in this photo– like you’ve turned a corner. Go, man, go!!!

  11. So glad this one went better for you! I hope the pain has been kicked out of town and won’t show up again. Can you take the meds pre-emptively next time so you don’t get hit with the pain on the way home? All our love from VT.

  12. It sucks that you’ve been dealing with such nasty pain Ezra, but again, somehow, you manage to describe it all so, well, elegantly. Congrats on the half way mark. I don’t know whether to say it’s all downhill from here (as in easier, certainly if you’re on a bike), because sometimes that has a negative connotation, and that is absolutely not what I am suggesting. Rather, you’re closer to the end of all this. I wish for you some time simply coasting…

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