Chemo: rising and falling


One thing I’ve learned about chemotherapy is that your situation can change in an awful hurry. And then change again. My last day of chemo was July 19, precisely two months after receiving my official diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). On Thursday, July 20 I felt good enough to eat most of a Big Mac combo for lunch. And I held it down. I still felt full, almost bloated, at 6:30pm but wanted to eat a half of an egg salad sandwich. I took a few bites, then vomited.

Okay, so…no solid food. Gotcha. I had a popsicle. Then vomited. Okay, so no flavored food. Gotcha. I had some ice chips. Then vomited. Okay, so…nothing. Eat nothing.

I went to bed and had a great sleep. I felt better in the morning. At lunch I decided to have McDonalds breakfast burritos. I went with my sister-in-law up to the 16th floor patio and sat down and took a bite. Then everything was spinning and I fainted right there on the table. They wheeled me back to my room and gave me a blood transfusion.

See? Quick changes. I’m learning to better seize the times where I feel good, and not push when things aren’t quite right. I felt better by 2pm, a mere 90 minutes after passing out, and I ate those burritos. But by 9pm I still felt full and bloated. So rather than force dinner, I’ll skip it. I did try a bite (lasagna), but I listened to my body and shut it down quickly.

Some other quick notes:

  • Elliotte Friedman phoned me yesterday to tell me to stay strong and that the hockey community was behind me. “Don’t be a hero” he said, not wanting me to push myself. I found the phone call very touching, and he certainly didn’t need to do that. But Elliotte has always been one of (if not the) nicer guys in hockey.
  • My wife came to see me at 11am and brought me those burritos. I was sleeping at the time so she left for a couple of hours and missed “the show”. But from 1pm to 9:30pm she didn’t leave my side again. She has been a warrior.
  • My sister-in-law works nearby and she has been here morning, noon and evening – three times per day every week day. Such tremendous support both emotionally and helping out with the food and water situation.



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