I finished Round 1 of chemo last Saturday. After four sets of shots in my stomach, they did a set in my leg on the Friday. The nurse looked at my arm, but didn’t see enough fat there (woo hoo!). But the leg was a mistake – the bruising still hurts there eight days later. On Saturday, the other nurse found another spot on my belly for the three shots.
The days since chemo have been exhausting, but surprisingly felt okay otherwise. I have been taking Vitamin E and C, Bee Propolis, magnesium, Ferrum phosphoricum, Sulfur iodatum (the latter three courtesy of a homeopathic doctor), and I’ve been drinking soursop juice. I also signed up with White Cedar, a clinic specializing in cannabis oil (the famed Rick Simpson treatment). I figure if each thing raises my odds of survival by .01% then it’s worth doing. As long as it doesn’t interfere with conventional treatment.
I found on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday that I got hit with a wave of exhaustion at around 3pm or 4pm. I needed to lie down, but couldn’t because I’m home with the kids – and the kids are home from school at 3pm. And I had to make dinner early because they had soccer, baseball, etc. But on Thursday I really paid for it.
Furthermore, on Thursday I received a couple of disturbing bits of news. First of all, I got an email from a former writer of mine who has a son going through similar blood issues. His son could not get a match in the World Bank and had to settle for a Haplo match transplant from his mother. It didn’t take. So he had it again from his father. A half-year later and they’re still fighting. This was a blow to my confidence. People could possibly not find a match? I had been so sure that in this day and age, everyone could eventually find a match! The second blow that day was when I weighed myself. I hadn’t been exercising and I had been eating like crap. Really just eating whatever I was in the mood for, not worrying about healthy food just worrying about eating period. But instead of expecting a weight gain of one pound to maybe 224…I was at 215. I had been exercising daily for two years, fighting to get below the 219 mark but failing. No matter how hard I worked out I couldn’t get below that. Now here I am four pounds below that! This is a weight I hadn’t seen since I was 28.
At around 1pm I got hit with that wave of exhaustion and it was bad. I felt dizzy. I didn’t trust myself to walk to get water, as I felt faint. I called my wife who rushed home. I got the kids at 3pm off the bus, and then went to bed until 5:30. I also drank a chocolate meal replacement drink.
Friday I went to PMH for a blood count check. Not only were they okay, but some of the numbers went up a little. My platelets went from 65 to 67. My neutraphyls went up a lot. From 0.20 two weeks ago to 0.27 last week to 0.58! So was the the Vitamin E? Vitamin C? Bee pollen? Sour sop? Whatever it is, I’ll keep taking them.
They were also concerned about how my Thursday went. So they did a check on my blood sugar, they did an ECG, and just made absolutely certain that everything was okay. My heart was great (“like an athlete” they said!). So we figure it was just anxiety – from the weight loss and the news of the son of my former writer. Plus I wrote two articles that day (on the Vegas Golden Knights) and I hadn’t written an article in nearly two months.
Speaking of news, I got bad news given to me with good news at the same time to soften the blow. My sisters were both just half-matches for stem cell donor. But they told me the coordinator at life labs said that they found a match in the World Bank. I’m the sort of person who needs to hear it from official channels before taking it as “official”, but this lifted my spirits. I spoke with the life labs guy in person. I gave him a call. He assured me that not only did they find a match, but they found two. And that there was a third match they were verifying, too. So I had backups. They would need to confirm their willingness to donate, as well as pass a medical. But it sounds like I have donors! When it’s official, I’ll announce to my friends on Facebook as well as my readers.