Monday, October 8, 2007

R & R

I started my second week without chemotherapy drugs today. I’m still tired so much of the time. It feels like a cliché to keep saying it, but it’s what I’m living with. I need to pace myself, even during this period of recuperation between cycles.

Last week I pushed myself a little too far and ended up spiking fevers three days in a row. I never felt sick enough to call it “flu”, but my joints ached. Chills accompanied the fevers and sapped my energy even more.

This weekend I visited relatives in Pennsylvania. I drove home this morning in time to catch a train into the City to have blood drawn. By the time I returned home, I was due a nap, and slept for three hours.

It was my first time in the Cancer Center in two weeks. I can’t believe how much I missed the place! I wasn’t scheduled to see anyone besides the lab technician, but the nurse who oversees my participation in the clinical trial saw me and stopped into the phlebotomist’s office to administer a hug and check up on me. My doctor also stopped by. These women have become family. My doctor said she dreamed about me. She couldn’t remember the details, but she woke up thinking she had to tell me I’d shown up in her sleep. That fits with the feeling I’ve had for years of a very primal connection with this woman.

It’s actually been three weeks since I saw my doctor. The last time I was there she was on her way to Barcelona to deliver a talk about the Genasense drug and the workings of this clinical trial. Months ago, when she was evaluating me for participation, she said she hoped to make me a “poster child.” I didn’t know at the time, but that conference was what she had in mind. My treatment went even better than anticipated, so she was able to wow the crowd with slides of my before and after scans, the pictures taken before and after my first treatment cycle. It's all so much mind-boggling technology, and I'm proud to be part of it.

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