Cancer Treatment and a Side Order of Side Effects To Go Please!

Look at this picture.  Blow it up and read the title of each pamphlet.  The two at the bottom of the picture discuss the different types of Chemotherapy that will be used this Tuesday.   The rest of the pamphlets disclose information regarding the various side effects I might experience. 

The doctors cannot say which side effects I will endure and how severe those side effects will be.  Their goal is to reveal all the possibilities upfront. I will read about the side effects that surface as I continue with radiation and chemotherapy treatment. 

My Wendy and I had a long conversation with one of the nurses.  She put extra emphasis on the following side effects we should be very aware of: 

Proper hydration during the treatment is a big deal.  Dehydration is a legit possibility because diarrhea and nausea are very common side effects. 

Body temperature is another condition to monitor.  100.4 degrees is a big deal for cancer patients. Chemotherapy will attack and weaken white and red blood cells.  The white blood cells normally gang up on an infection to wipe it out. This occurs when the body is running a high temperature; in essence the body is trying to overwhelm the infection.  The body's ability to fight off infections will be greatly compromised by the chemo. The rise in body temperature without white blood cells could easily lead to a catastrophic outcome for the drummer. 

My Wendy and I will focus on the different types of chemotherapy, proper hydration, and reducing the possibilities for infections.  We have a big bottle of hand sanitizer on alert; a Costco-sized container of Lysol wipes to disinfect countertops, door knobs, and handles in common areas; and I will be in the habit of taking in about 100 ounces of water a day. 

Attention to detail is the name of the game for me and My Wendy.  Anything we observe that is out of the norm is worth a phone call to the oncologist.  This includes changes in mood, activity level, appearance, behavior, etc. Even unexpected trips to another doctor or a dentist are worth a phone call.   

I anticipate a worst-case scenario.  Not the most worstest case scenario ever, EVER…  like I will die from the treatments. I plan to be a pretty solitary lad through August and part of September.  I don't think it will get to that point, but I like planning for the worst and being pleasantly surprised as the treatment goes on. 

Game time is upon us.  It’s taken a month and a half from initial diagnosis to reach this point.  The game plan is set. It is time to execute and adapt to body's responses to the chemo and radiation. 

Got any tips on how to endure the abuse?  I’d love to hear them. 

I’m Super Duper Cereal!!! 


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