Chemo Effects

Yesterday was not a good day.

It's been two weeks since I started my first chemo session.

I am on a chemotherapy regimen called "VAD" - Adriamycin, Vincristine, and Dexamethasone. I have a porta-cath implanted in my chest - it's a little plastic thing with a tube running into my vena cava they can jam a needle into instead of fishing around for veins on my arm - and for the first four days I get a little red ball attached to that.

This little ball is an engineering marvel. It looks like a glorified water balloon that I keep in my pocket, with red Kool Aid running through a long, clear plastic tube into the porta-cath. Of course, it's NOT Kool Aid (I WISH!), it's the first two of the three main drugs. They get pumped in for four days, and then I am on a regimen of pills... one every day, another every M-W-F, and then the Dexamethasone - these nasty tasting, tiny little pills I have to take 10 at a time and can't seem to ever get down - I take in a cycle of four days and then lay off for four days.

[Ed. note. I have since discovered it is the Dexamethasone - aka Decadron - that is the main villain in this piece...]

(I can't type worth beans! The letters keep showing up on the screen in the wrong place. Well, wait. That's how I typed BEFORE any of this... but not quite this bad....)

My fingers on my right hand are starting to feel a little numb. My whole middle feels tied up in a knot, and when I lie down in bed, my abdominal muscles are so sore and weak, I am like a turtle on his back. I can't get up... well, not without a good wince and a stab of pain just for fun.

My whole insides are buzzing - like they are electric - or like someone is constantly poking my crazy bone and it is jolting me all over.

The worst part, though, is how all these chemicals seem to be scrambling my brains.

My thoughts don't want to stick together. Most of the day yesterday I felt like I was floating inside of my body, just barely managing to maintain control of the ship. I truly felt like I was a little pilot inside my head, peering out through the windows of my eyes, and my body was like the Goodyear Blimp hovering around the house.

The rest of the time my thought processes feel like they are in the other room. The kids ask me to help them with their homework, and all of a sudden I am not exactly sure what 2+2 is.

Let's just say it feels like I am on drugs.

...which I guess I am!




2011 Paul Dallgas-Frey