Words from the big chair #2

Dr. Klein and the nurse had bad news about my white blood cell count. But they delivered it in a terrific manner.

Dr. Klein and the nurse told me my white blood cell count was los again. But they delivered the news iin a terrific manner.

Hello again from the chemo throne.

I am still getting the chemo through an IV in my arm. They can’t consider a port in my chest until after they take a look at the blood clots again. And they can’t take a look at the blood clots until after my 4th treatment. So, its all about my arm veins for another couple of weeks.

The nurse who gave me the IV was an Army vet and he gave me a smooth stick under pressure – virtually painless. Painless needle sticks have become very important to me. Nurses trained to do triage while getting attacked by the Taliban = good IV.

But some bad news – I have to go back on the Neupogen. My white blood cell counts are low again. Which sucks.  I’m not sure if this is a Neupogen roller coaster ride that I will be on the whole time. I’m hoping that some tweaks in my nutritional plan will help my WBC stay up. Eating less sugar and more natural stuff will be a small price to pay compared to the bone pain I get from the Neupogen.

In other news, the Benedryl is kicking in and I’m going into my loopy place. It hits me pretty hard and pretty quick. Takes the edge off of everything.

I’ve got 3 ‘pushes’ then the drip.

As always, the “Red Devil” (Adryomyacin) goes in first. The nurse tells me that this one is harsh. Can cause serious nausea. But it is a necessary chemical for me to get – very effective and sort of a ‘standard issue’ chemo drug. This is the one that is also hardest on the veins and is probably causing the phlebitis in my arms (blood clots). Little bastard. Pushpushpush.

Vinblastine next. Pushpushpush.

Then Bleomyacin, which is rough on my lungs. Looks like I missed my window to take up pipe smoking. Pushpushpush.

And finally the Dacarbazine, which is my least favorite because it causes me so much pain in my arm and hand. Drip…drip…drip…

Did you know that some chemo chemicals are purple? Or aqua? Me neither. They turn your pee different colors. I’m used to mine being orange. Turquoise would be interesting.

Did you know they had free granola bars while you’re getting treatment? Mmmm…

One of these is full of nuts. The other is a granola bar.

What do Miley Cyrus and a granola bar have in common? I have no idea. I found the photo this way.

I am both amazed and depressed that this clinic is so ‘normal’. People come in, get their chemo, read magazines, socialize, nurses come and go and it feels a lot like a clubhouse to me. Part of the special treatment you get for being a member of the Cancer Club, I guess.

I find it a little depressing because this is a necessary part of life for so many people. Cancer treatment goes from something which is shocking and life changing to something along the lines of routine.

Beep beep beep. My IV keeps stopping.

Drip drip drip. The nurse fixes it.

Almost done. And a celebrity sighting – much to my mom and aunt’s glee – Bob Newhart. He’s older. His wife is here for chemo.

Quote of the day, which makes coming in for chemo worth it. My mom just said:

"He looks just like himself."

"He looks just like himself."

Classic.

Home again. Shots for myself tomorrow.  Rest. Sleep.

I’ll probably dream tonight that I am married to Susanne Pleschette, own a bed and breakfast and 3 guys named Daryl 2 guys named Daryl and 1 guy named Larry live next door.

Thanks for tuning in.

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11 responses to “Words from the big chair #2

  1. That was funny. Newhart is an original. Maybe you’ll wake up and realise that you lived next to Grover and Elmo.

    Rock on brother!

  2. old birds on Bird Street

    Everyone is talking about our need for real heroes. What we fail to realize that the real heroes in this world are those who take on these health challenges as routine and keep on laughing, loving, and caring. You are among heroes. Thanks for the updates.

    Maybe you will dream of juggling chickens and clubs while drinkging that high priced pitcher of Coke at the Sportsmans’ Club.
    Love.
    Mary K.

  3. Tracy Cordova

    I cried like a baby when they administered the decarbazine one of the times and the nurses gave me a stuffed bear. It was sweet. The nurses really do care. I never got granola bars though, that I can remember. I think there were graham crackers though.

    • The nurses do care. Especially at the infusion center – its what they do. Every time I ask them a question about the Adryomyacin they roll their eyes – because it is the one hardest on the body. There is a ‘grin and bear it’ attitude when it comes to chemo. Which, after 3 treatments, I’m starting to understand.

      No stuffed bears for me. Maybe next time I’ll bring my stuffed Swoop, the Eagles mascot.

  4. Hang in there Steve. If my wife can do it – so can you! Don’t forget to watch reruns of the Bob Newhart Show on TV Land every Tuesday night at 7:00PM PST. See you in two weeks!

  5. Hey Steve,
    I’ve been reading your blog, my kids hooked me up, Rick & Angie. I too love Bob Newhart, never laughed so hard when I saw him at a live performance.
    I just wanted to tell you, when I think about you, I picture you healthy and whole. Andi

    • Thanks Andi. When I picture myself I am in Hawaii, sunning myself poolside with a tall drink in my hand. Which is hopefully where I will be about 2 weeks after this is all over with.

      I appreciate the kind words. You’ve reminded me how important it is to visualize where I want to be, not where I am at.

  6. 3 guys named Daryl? What the hell happened to Larry? He was the only one that talked!
    Chin up Steve! Keep eating the Chunky soup just like D. McNabb and you’ll be back to normal in no time!! Course your football throwing will still suck like D. McNabb’s but then you can’t have everything.

    • Corrections have been made to the above post. Thanks to Bavo for pointing out that I forgot about Larry. Poor, unappreciated Larry. Maybe next time I will test your knowledge of the Cosby show…

  7. Thanks for that I know it’s Daryl and Daryl but I could not remeber “my other brother”, Larry.

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