So last Monday, May 3rd, was my fourth and final dose of chemotherapy (at least this form of chemo). Sarah accompanied me and took these photos to document the treatment along with my visit to the acupuncturist following chemo. I have been lucky enough to receive acupuncture directly after chemo and it has helped tremendously with the side-effects. I immediately feel the nausea dissipate, as well as the general flu-like symptoms. The infusion room where I receive chemo is actually quite nice. I have a view of the Willamette River and the tram going up to OHSU. The nurses there are very friendly and do their best to make us comfortable for our six-hour visit.
Sarah and I chatted with a couple sitting next to us at one point during my treatment. Matt and Brenda have many years of experience with cancer. Matt has had stage 4 brain cancer for over two years and has gone through chemo and radiation. Matt and Brenda have four children ranging from toddlers to teens and they are all home schooled! I couldn’t believe it. These two people were so happy and upbeat about everything in their lives. They teased each other and shared stories that were so genuine and filled with love. Brenda made a comment about adapting to what life brings you and learning to make the best of it. I am still torn by this idea. Of course one strives to be grateful for everyday they are given and make lemonade out of lemons. But I still find myself resisting the idea that this…cancer, chemo, radiation… will redefine my life from here on out. It is obviously a huge part of my life right now but I cannot accept the fact that it will always be this way. I don’t know if that makes me stubborn and naive or a fighter. I am guessing a little of both and I can live with that!
I am due to start radiation therapy the first full week of June. Radiation will be everyday for six weeks and will be complimented by an oral dose of a different type of chemo. Apparently radiation and chemo are exponentially for powerful when used together. The most significant side-effect of the radiation is fatigue. The fatigue is cumulative and will be more intense as the weeks pass. The radiation doctors have said that the treatment is usually tolerated fairly well and they are optimistic that it will be extremely beneficial for me. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!