Sunday, April 10, 2011

chemo sabe


i wrote the following intending to post it the first day of no more chemo. then, in my mentally impaired state, it sounded awful to me. i'm glad i saved it. looks ok now. that's my left thumb up above. see the ridges? i think each ridge and valley corresponds to a two week cycle of chemo. not sure if the ridge or the valley is chemo.
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well it's over except for some recovery time. i have depended upon the kindness of my wonderful and wonderfully competent robin, our loving daughters, our families, our neighbors, and our far flung internet pals. thank you all for your good wishes for my recovery and support during surgery and chemo.

coping with the whole process of cancer treatment, indeed all serious illnesses, is sometimes more difficult for the caregiver than the patient. i have the anecdotal evidence of two friends who were caregivers for their spouses, and of course robin and me. the most difficult "side effect" of my chemo for robin was my mental impairment, which for me was the most invisible, though i did have an odd stuffy feeling in my head at times.

i know that i escaped the more severe reactions to chemotherapy. i did not have any real pain. no hair loss. no gross or extreme gastric upset. no blisters on hands or feet. i still have slightly deranged digestive system. i get a burning sensation in my throat at odd times. my fingernails and toenails are very dry and brittle and one thumb has a painful crack that hasn't healed for more than three months. my fingers feel strange. my eyes are dry and sometimes burn.

i look forward to better health. that's my story and i'm sticking to it.

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that's it. not bad for chemo-brain.

i am recovering fairly well. much more energy. still stupid now and then. thumb crack healed but skin still dry. fingernails still odd. i'm happy to be done.

quoting james brown... "i feel good!"

25 comments:

  1. Much love to the patient and his caregiver. I will always feel so thankful to read what you write. xo

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  2. Can I share with you my remedy for cracks in the skin of my fingers? I coat my hands liberally with cold-pressed castor oil and sleep in non-latex plastic gloves. After 2-3 nights of that, my finger slits are either healed or nearly so. I hope it can help you. I am glad you had little of the very bad effects of chemo.

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  3. And I'm so glad you "feel good"! I'm so glad things have gone well and I continue to hold good thoughts for you both! Always good to see your post! Hope you have a great week! Enjoy!

    Sylvia

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  4. That's great to hear that your energy is returning and that your sense of humor is thriving.

    chemo sabe!

    The love you and robin share runs deep and true.

    word verification: very zing.

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  5. Don's finger and toe nails looked like that too. Also, the other after effects. I can attest to how the whole treatment thing wears on a caregiver. It is not easy. However, the good thing is that you're through with it and the two of you can spend the coming summer season rebuilding strength and wellness.

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  6. (((hugs)))

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  7. Wonderful news Roger. Sadly I have chemo brain but never had chemo. Hope any residual foggies go away.
    Judy has the right treatment for skin cracks on the hand. I use vaselene but the important thing is the gloves.
    Stay well and let energy fill you once more.

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  8. so glad you are feeling better, roger!

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  9. Good for you and good writing for being chemo impaired. I am glad you did it and glad it's over. My brother went through it a year or so ahead of you and so far so good on his too

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  10. you will continue to get better and better the further away from the poisoning you get. it's a wild treatment, eh? Now you 'saber' chemo -- you know it.

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  11. I have been thinking of you every day, dear blogger buddy. You and Robin have faced this monster with great courage and I admire both of you. I'll toast tonight to your continuing recovery. (I think that means I get an extra glass of wine, doesn't it?)

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  12. (((Hugs)))) Welcome back to starting to feeling normal.

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  13. "Like we know that you could!" Great to hear!

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  14. Great to hear you're feeling good. Best wishes for continuing to improve; for feeling even better.

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  15. Egads! If those are mild symptoms....

    I certainly agree with everyone who has expressed relief that it's behind you, happiness that your sense of humor survived intact, and sincere affection for both you and Robin.

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  16. I'm so glad this is behind you and Robin. Nothing but good!

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  17. I expect the valleys are the signs of chemo -- it wipes out dividing cells as you know.

    I don't think you're being overly optimistic at all -- when you're experiencing the symptoms it can be difficult to imagine being without them, but once you feel better it's usually hard to remember exactly what it felt like to feel awful. At least that's my experience.

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  18. thanks again friends.

    extra wine for anyone who wants it.

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  19. I'm glad you're feeling better, and I'm glad the side effects weren't as bad as some experience. When yours began I started to mention my wife's experience with chemo for colon cancer - she did quite well - but I figured that everyone's experience is their own, and it was probably better not to mention hers. It's good that yours and hers were similar in that respect.

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  20. you feeling good is infectious.
    glad you are mending and it is over.

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  21. Happy to hear it. Here's to your good health!

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  22. Glad you are still with us and communicating. Hope all the symptoms of chemo go away soon!

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  23. sooooooooo glad to hear you are mended and back in the saddle! you and robin will have a nice summer reclaiming your lives. :))
    we keep udder cream and/or bag balm cream for exceptionally dry, cracked skin. both work well. you can use socks on your feet or hands to insulate and keep the oils on the skin and not on the sheets. here is a link to something i'll be using to help remove toxins and improve lymph drainage and circulation. i have used similar oils which mix cold pressed and virgin olive and peanut oils with castor oil, but this one has a few more ingredients which I need right now to improve circulation. this has to be ordered by mail. the other 2 can be found in various local stores.
    http://www.baar.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?

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  24. No one said it better than James Brown! Glad you came through it all so well.

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