The on-going, first-hand tale of a journey through medical oncology... and what happens after.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Silence can be deafening

It was another rough week. Well, mostly it was a rough Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a mostly OK Thursday and then Friday was basically as normal as days can be when you are on "chemo-watch." As many of you know and some of the rest of you have guessed, I did not get treatment #10 this week either. Though the ANC was encouraging enough on Tuesday morning (1.3 by machine count and 1457 by manual count) to have OHSU suggest a re-test on Wednesday morning before we headed up to OHSU, my blood work on Wednesday morning was actually worse than Tuesday (1.2 by machine count). I was both unhappy and very frustrated by this series of events. Gearing up for treatment (physically and mentally) is getting tougher each time, and these delays are very hard for this Type-A individual.

I am so ready for this part of this journey to be over. I struggle with the chemistry part of my preparation for and experience of FOLFOX in that I hate the complex biochemical cycle of anti-emetics, stomach acid control, laxatives, stimulants, and sleeping aids that accompanies the conscious infusion of anti-cancer meds. I hate being tired, and having to rest, and not being able to be the active adult that I have always been. I hate that I am somewhat short-tempered, and that I need to wash my hands so frequently and think carefully about when and where I go places (in order to avoid exposure to cold germs - which seem to congregate where crowds of people go). Like grocery stores, and movie theatres, and, well, most anywhere outside. Result: I have been avoiding this blog.

People began to wonder about its silence. Is it good that he isn't blogging, or did something go wrong? Should I call him, or will that be a bother? I received some really kind support notes - from my Dad, from my Mom, from my neighbor Tom, from Megan (an Internet acquaintance who has been there), and from Angie (a fellow chemo patient at OHSU who just completed her regimen this last month). And I know that there are literally tons of people in my extended support network that think of me from time to time and send uplifting and warm thoughts and energy my way. Thanks. As hard as this week was, I am sure that it would have been completely unbearable without you.

So, the aphorism about "silence being deafening" now has a different meaning for me. Maybe its that the lack of hearing from someone (or absence of a blog post) makes the world we sense just a little deadened - like what happens when you put a pillow over your head. And that's how I felt on Wednesday. I needed to de-sense for a bit, and I retreated from some parts of this cancer life. But I am not giving up. The next month or two will be a roller coaster, I expect, but I have always loved the thrill of real roller coasters. Just ask my brother-in-law and my daughter.

But hey, the Huskies finally managed to play a complete game and beat Stanford, and the Ducks made quite a statement against Arizona State. Do I see Oregon playing Ohio State for the national championship??? Now that would make most Oregonians roar with pride - far louder than a pillow could contain, don't you think?

1 comment:

Tom said...

Ed,
I've been tolerant of your whining about chemo this and enema that through this entire process but I must say that your abandonment of the Big Ten is truly distasteful. Just because the Ducks walloped Michigan doesn't guarantee they deserve to play on the big stage against Ohio State.