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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chemo, Round Three

I am sitting in my preferred chemo recliner at the oncology clinic. I have endured the port access and blood draws, have chatted with the physician assistant, and learned that my white cell counts are still low (neutrophils are at 1.21 and they need to be above 1.0 to allow me to be treated). I am getting chemo today, and will also get the five day treatment of neupogen again starting when they disconnect my pump. But I am not optimistic that I will be able to be treated in two weeks. Oh well. Maybe that extra week of recovery is more important than whatever schedule I have in my head?

I have also discovered a sensory reaction to the smell of the chemo clinic and the antiseptic swabs that they use to disinfect my skin prior to accessing my port, and also use to wipe the ends of the plastic connectors for the tubing. Me no likee that odor any more. And I am pretty sure that I will not miss it.

One final note about the chemotherapy process... and how it is somewhat depressing. The spaces that I inhabit during treatment are clinical and sterile, the sounds of the place include electronic bongs (signifying something must be done with someone's pump(s)) and a litany of medical terms explained to everyone around me, and the view from the windows is of treetops and sky - with a growing mass of spider webs that trap dust and cottonwood seeds. Most everyone around me has a dull look of resignation, and today I am the youngest patient in the place. The nurses are very competent and helpful, but they are so busy hurrying from patient to patient - summoned by the incessant bonging of the transfusion/treatment pumps.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I am not liking this day's work.

6 comments:

Anne B. said...

I wish your chemo environment were more soothing--even dental chairs often tilt to views of ceiling art instead of spider webs.

But three down and three to go means that you are half-way to being out of there. Hurrah!

PN said...

Ed, sending some positive thoughts your way for a better day and week ahead! Java, java! PN

Anonymous said...

I know that feeling of being the youngest in the chemo suite, and the mingled fatigue and hope that I found there.. It's not my favorite waystation on the journey, either - but I also know it's not your final destination. I'm sending you healing energy and the anticipatory joy of reaching escape velocity from the chemo suite!
Karen

Anonymous said...

Why does it have to take so stinking long! Why can't you just be done with treatment already? Ok, I'm done being indignant and impatientfor you ...

Now: ease and joy. Sending healing energy to youKay

Mr Folfox said...

Ed, how did the session go? Can you post the name of that clinic or hospital?

Alison said...

You have endured the long uphill, the lonely road....now you are on the downhill side. Looking forward for you to life after treatment ...yes!