Cancer: A "Lightweight" Version!!!

The “C” word stirs many thoughts and emotions.  “Lightweight” was never one of them before this week’s treatments began.  I’ve been aboard the good ship Chemo twice and have walked the hallowed halls of the radiation center eight times.  Such journeys put “Lightweight” into my cancer vocabulary.   

What follows is my weekly schedule thus far, then some reasons why I consider it to be a lightweight case.  Here is the average week… 

MONDAY 

Rock some Socks while having blood drawn. 

Both treatment teams use this information to adapt the plan to my body’s ability to withstand the punishment.  You see, cancer patients do not “survive cancer.” We survive the treatments used to wipe out cancer. Think about this.  The origins of cancer treatment may be found in germ & biological warfare, and atomic warfare. Any of these treatments, dispersed in large enough quantity, can wipe out entire cities; but in small enough doses, will take out one person’s malignant cells.  Unfortunately, healthy cells take some abuse along the way. That’s when the side effects pop up. The blood tells a major tale about the severity of these side effects. The story changes with every passing week of treatment. Doctors need these updated facts each week. 

Report to Radiation Treatment 

Rock some Socks while lying on the slab in the Chamber.  I get to perfect my Hannibal Lecter imitation for 15 - 20 minutes as my neck gets popped with micro atomic blasts. 

TUESDAY 

Rock some Socks for the weekly cruise on the good ship Chemo. 

First I sign in and have the vital signs checked.  The ensuing chat with the doctor gives him the chance to gather more facts before moving forward with the plan.  Then I’m escorted to a lounge chair on the passenger deck. The nurses run their part of the plan: administer the pre-treatment meds and both chemo treatments (yep… there is more than one) through the port that’s been installed for about two weeks now.  The cruise returns to the docks when the nurses flush the port to clean it out. 

Report to Radiation Treatment 

WEDNESDAY 

Report to Radiation Treatment 

Meet up with the Dietitian. 

Again, the side effects wreak havoc and can affect eating habits.  The dietitian inquires about such things, wanting the specifics of my eating habits.  Trying to stay healthy can be a real challenge while undergoing treatment. Food and drink are the ways we stay healthy, even if they are administered through a tube.  I don’t have a feeding tube yet. The dietitian gathers the information that is used to adjust the plan as needed. It is all about the plan, right? 

Wait for chemotherapy’s side effects to pay me a visit. 

Each dose of chemo stays in the blood system for up to 48 hours: Tuesday morning through Thursday morning.  The side effects seem to lag behind by 24 hours. They’re done with me by Friday evening. 

THURSDAY 

Report to Radiation Treatment 

Deal with chemo’s side effects 

FRIDAY 

Report to Radiation Treatment 

Side effects have passed for the most part 

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 

Keep recovering as the next week approaches. 

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This is the Lightweight treatment plan. 

One chemo treatment is a lot better than five in a week.  Some passengers on the good ship Chemo are on their second of five days of treatment when I receive treatment.  Read what chemo is and what it does. Then imagine having that stuff dumped into your bloodstream five days a week.  There are people that go through that shit!!! I can see how the side effects have worn their body’s out. What I am going through is the equivalent of having a sprained eyelash!!!  

I listened to my Bro earlier this week as he shared his and his mother’s story with me and my Wendy.  Mom sat next to me, but was pretty checked out cuz she is heavy laden with side effects. I feel a sense of guilt.  His mother’s story is sad because she has suffered both cancer and the side effects of the treatments for a long time.  “Lightweight” quickly popped in to my vocabulary after hearing her story. I have heard others too, but Mom’s story was an in depth story as told by a son who suffers beside her in very different ways. 

My Wendy and I are very optimistic about the outcome.  Cancer still sucks! Mine truly is a lightweight suck at this point.  My Bro’s story of his mom makes me realize I am a very fortunate soul!  I have yet to hear a cancer patient say such a thing. Immerse yourself in the cancer world and you’ll get it soon enough if this weekly schedule is all you must endure!!! 

Tootles!!!

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