Sorry I haven’t been around lately. I had important work to accomplish helping my fellow Marines in Call of Duty 5 Just one more game until I get the supressor. Just…one….more…game…
So: How you doin? How am I doin?
First – you.
You are awesome. You call to let me know you’re thinking of me. You check in on Facebook. You think that photos of Grover stolen via Google Images makes me funny. You know that what I’m going through sucks but I’ll get better. You also give me really valuable advice that I can now pass on to other people. And you still, even though I asked you not to, give me the occasional awesome gift.
Today, if you asked me how its going, I’d have to say “Not fun.”
Going from feeling fine yesterday to feeling shi**y today is not fun. It is opposite of fun. What is the opposite of fun? Is it going to a clinic every other week full of nice, but very busy people, who poison you and make you go from feeling good to feeling bad. Like voluntarily getting the flu. That doesn’t sound life fun to me.
What wasn’t fun about today was getting poked with the IV needle twice to find a vein. And finding out I have to go back on Neupogen for low WBC counts. And throwing up half way through treatment. And sleeping in a coma-like state for the rest of the day.
Onward and upward.
I thought I’d clarify exactly what my restrictions and schedule is going to be. This is subject to change as I feel better/worse after each chemo but it seems to me that people aren’t sure if I’m 100% on my feet or trapped in my house. Am I John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever or the Boy in the Bubble?
I have chemo every other Thurdsay. I feel crappy the weekend and couple of days after that. First I feel tired, nauseous and weird from the chemo and then I feel sore and achy from the Neupogen shots. This has lasted from Thursday to Thursday. I’m around during these days, but limited.
After the Neupogen wears off and the chemo fatigue clears, I feel pretty good for the next week. At this point, my WBC starts dropping so I have to make sure I don’t get sick. I’ve been to the movies. I’ll meet up with 1 or 2 people at a time. Avoid places like bars, bowling alleys and Venice Beach.
I also plan on taking photography classes from June-July. However, I helped out on a set on Tuesday and it really wore me out. So I have to do everything in my own time.
I know people who are raising 3 kids while going through. One girl went through Sheriff’s Acadamy. I’m not ready to put my life on hiatus – just put a lot of stuff on hold for awhile. My goal is to come out of this a better person than I was before it started – physically, skills, mentally.
For now, I just play it safe. Stay close to home. I don’t hug people and avoid shaking hands (everyone looks like germ carriers to me). Taking my supplements and getting rest is my job. But I’m still managing to stay productive. Besides this award winning blog, I’ve got my photography, video side projects, classes and my future appearance on Oprah to consider.
Also, I’ve entered a new chapter where I am far enough in my treatment that I can start sharing my experiences with other Hodgkin’s patients. I can help make up for all of the misinformation (or lack of information) that I had to go through. I remember meeting Vanessa on the hospital floor and I felt, and continue to feel, such relief that I have someone to guide me through some of this. And hopefully, I can do the same for someone else.
Seeing me makes people feel better – they see that I’m still the same ole’ Steve. And I feel pretty good about seeing people, too. It was hard at first, but even though I still feel like Cancer Steve, I’m glad it’s no big secret and not a big deal. It doesn’t define me now.
Well, not as much.
Not sinch I made level Gunnery Sargeant Level 23 of COD:5.
Hope to see you soon.
Keep on keeping on.