I’ll admit

This week has been pretty rough.

I went into the round with a bit of a cold, which I haven’t managed to shake (imagine..). That hasn’t really helped. But the real issue is a set of joint/body aches that have begun to set in like clock work on the thursday of a treatment week.

It’s such a confusing thing to have wednesday as I get unplugged feel so good and so freeing, and then wake up on thursday feeling as though I’ve been beaten with bats. The pain is centered around my upper spine, but radiates down my arms and can feel concentrated around the elbows, wrists. It is agonizing (please believe that I am not being dramatic). Last treatment round it was isolated to thursday, but this round has been MUCH more severe and I’m still feeling it saturday morning. Have had to take meds to sleep. My doc says it sounds like the flu. I agree! It DOES sound like the flu. A flu that I’ve caught every thursday after a round of chemo!!

(I should pause here. I give my doctor a hard time on this blog because some of the things that come out of his mouth are absurd. You should also know that we’ve known each other since I was 4. He loves me as a son, and, in fact, sometimes introduces me as his son. We swear at each other and give each other a pretty hard time. I say something flippant and he says, “you’re an asshole..”  I raise my eyebrows at him..  “oh.. yeah.. poor taste.. well, you’re a dickhead!”  His favorite game is to pretend that the things happening to me are in my head and not actually side effects of the poison he’s pushing into my system. “People don’t loose their hair on folfox, Ezra” “I beg your pardon!! I HAVE. TWICE!!!” He confided in me the other day, that oncologists who feel pity for their patients and back off when side effects crop up, loose patients. They die. He is a cancer survivor himself, and has been through pretty brutal treatment. It’s not that he doesn’t know..)

I am hoping that this week’s days of pain have been exacerbated by my cold, and that this isn’t a worsening trend.

I did still manage to cook dinner the last two nights.. thursday for a crowd of around 10 at my parents’ place, and last night for my good friends Liza and Darius and their awesome kids. Not all is lost. I will blunder through! I also managed to play 6 hours of pool yesterday with my good friend Jeremiah. I’ve found that the pain doesn’t change much whether I’m resting or active.. sooo, might as well do some stuff!

0 Replies to “I’ll admit”

  1. I admire your courage, grace and sense of humor in the face of this seemingly eternal adversity.
    I pray for you, and hope for a happy resolution to your battle…….very soon.

    all the best from Baltimore.
    Sam

  2. that image….oh my.

    it sounds like you’ve got the right doctor in your corner. seeing this on this frigid january morning just kind of felt like a punch in the gut. your fight inspires me and i think of you all daily and hope you will beat this thing. i don’t know you but i am more and more inspired especially on days/weeks like this one…checking-in here daily is ritual. hugs to you all from the midwest…

  3. Your updates are the most human, compelling and interesting things popping up in my reader. I look forward to them and pray for you every time I read one. I wish everyone I knew would read them and learn about life.

  4. i have some people very close to me fighting cancer, and reading your posts and hearing your story gives me optimism. not many can face such hard things with such a great outlook on life. i hope you get to feeling better.
    love and prayers from south dakota.

  5. Well, if you’re gonna have cancer I think it’s pretty outstanding to have a doctor you can call a dickhead and who’ll call you an asshole back. It’s fair to say that’s a rather rare relationship with a medical professional.

    In terms of the joint pain, would massage help? Cancer is actually a contraindication for massage (as is any condition that can be spread through the blood as massage increases circulation blah, blah, blah… can you tell I’m a former LMT?) but I know several people who’ve benefited from massage during cancer treatment, so that’s a rather broad generalization and the reality isn’t that simple. Anyway, just a suggestion. I imagine it may be one you’d thought of already. If not, you may want to talk about your dickhead of a doctor about it. Or not. Regardless, I hope you find someway to address that side effect. Sounds miserable.

    As always, your bloody nose makes a striking image. Feel better.

  6. You’re an inspiration to us all man.. Persisting thru the pain and not crying about it but rather finding things to do with your family and friends and staying positive.. That’s how everyone should live it up.. Finding hope in the little things while tackling all that life has for us..
    Peace with ya –
    tad

  7. Complete stranger here. I’ve been reading backwards through your blog the past couple days (got totally sidetracked by your stellar bikes last night) and I have to say you are the most amazing, resilient, inspirational person I have ever encountered. I will keep you in my thoughts and am confident that you know how many people you have never met are pulling for you and wishing you all the best. Stay strong, Ezra, and get well.

  8. Sounds like you and your doc are matched perfectly for one another.

    My friend Keri just got diagnosed with breast cancer (it’s back for her too. She had it 20 years ago). She’ll be doing chemo as well. Two rounds her docs figure at the moment. I’m going to send her here for some laughs, some encouragement and some great recipes.

    Let me know if you got the bicycle book and if you found it interesting.

  9. Ugh. I hate to see these pics….but also glad you’re not hiding the reality of your battle.

    I think it should be said though Ezra, that it’s ok to stay in bed all day for days and be tired and try to heal. I sometimes worry that you don’t get enough rest! But who am I…we don’t even know each other. 🙁

    Feel better honey.

  10. Sorry to hear things are rough this week, but thrilled you’re hanging in there and getting out and doing things! If you’re gonna be in pain, cooking and pool at least give you something else to think about. Love the repartee with the doc – if you’ve got that, you’re golden. He sounds like a gem. From one foul-mouthed bastard to another (two?) – keep it up.

  11. Love your unique doc/patient relationship. Give ’em hell! 😀

    I will keep your fighting spirit, and his, in mind when I go for my initial appt. for chemo on Wed. It helps, so much! Your images and words make the scary less scary. Plus they are beautiful photos, regardless.

    Hope the following weeks find you feeling better and better.
    Cheers!

  12. So sorry to hear about your rough week. I sure hope this week is much better for you. Just give my favorite NYCPB and lovely Hill lots of hugs, they will make you feel better. 🙂

  13. For what it’s worth, your blog is the first I look for in my reader. I choose to believe that it’s not because I enjoy reading of your pain and suffering but that I appreciate your honesty. And, even though I can not be there to support you (or eat your amazing food!), I can read of your daily shitstorm and send some warm fuzzies and good vibes your way.

    Best.

  14. I like to see you continue with this positive attitude, bc is the only way you can claim these days. I am sad to see you bleed, it seems that life escapes, encouragement friend, we are with you. Hugs.

  15. Gillian Caldwell posted your blog on facebook so I took a look – thank you for sharing and for being strong. Sending lots of hope, love, strength and courage to you and your family.