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Chemo Round 56 

Well, the rounds keep coming and 56 was no exception. To summarize, it was a good round for many reasons and a bit of a challenging round, too. But more good than challenging, so worry not.

First off, the things that made it a good round:

  • Infusion went very well. I got one of my favorite oncology nurses who always does an amazing job accessing my port, changing my meds, and getting me all set up with my bag o’ chemo. Plus, I had a blast with Dr. Lenz and Taline. Always a great time at Norris. 
  • I think we’ve really got the pre-med cocktail down perfectly. I used to have a pretty crushingly gross headache by late Monday night, and I also used to get this thick saliva grossness by Tuesday and Wednesday which I’d lovingly hack up instead of letting it just chill in my lower throat area. Both of those are things of the past because of the pre-med adjustments that we’ve made. That makes the chemo life a little easier. 
  • My headache, which is always inevitable, went away pretty quickly this time – by mid-day on Wednesday and maybe even earlier. We controlled the headache better that ever because of…wait for it…the CHILLOW. Have you seen the infomercials for this thing? It’s like a perpetually cool pillow – hence, the clever naming. I was sort of licking my lips at the prospect of freezing my head during these chemo headaches and, soon enough, my mom and I pulled the trigger and bought one. My mom was super clever and got it from Amazon which meant we’d get it in like a day or two, and we did. Just in time to freeze the ol’ head out every time I’d feel the sick headache coming on. Let me just tell you, fellow warriors, the CHILLOW is for real. I can’t even say the name without using all caps. The CHILLOW, babyyyy!! I’m even using it during my off chemo weeks. I think the CHILLOW people should hire me to be their spokeswoman. I am a serious fan of this product. CHILLOW. 
  • I actually ate decently well this time around. It’s not hard when your parents are constantly making 8-12 varieties of food and giving you the pick of the litter. So I snacked on some things, gulped down others, and generally did a good job of keeping myself going with some solid nutrition. 
  • The usual chemo side effects of generally feeling gross and headachy were gone by Thursday morning.

Why it was a challenging round: 

  • Everything is challenging when you have a massive clot in your lung 
  • Seriously, guys, I finally read the CT Scan report that described the clot. I started laughing when I read it because, in all honesty, this puppy should have done me in. As in, killed me. But I will have none of this death stuff, apparently. 
  • The Zaltrap I’m taking (in place of Avastin) is really frickin’ tiring. Even though I felt much better on Thursday, all I wanted to do was chill in bed. Of course, I had my computer with me and could work, but man, I was not in the mood for being active. That persisted into Friday, too. So yeah, Zaltrap, thanks for tuckering me out. I expect you’re tuckering out those cancer cells even more, so I’ve still got love for you. (Apparently, now I talk to my chemo drugs. Not surprising, really.) 
  • Those are basically the only reasons it was a challenging round. 

So all in all, Round 56 was a good one. I can tell my breathing is getting better and so is my appetite. I’m not too interested in gaining weight at this point, however, because I recently bought my first string bikini and your pal WunderGlo is looking goooooood in it, but I do need to get some of my muscles back. My biceps have weathered the storm pretty well but these quads are looking sad. Since I’ve got another week off chemo (I’m going to credit my successful negotiation skills in getting this extra week off to the one Stanford Law class I took in negotiations plus everything I’ve learned at O’Melveny), my goal is to hit the gym every day this coming week and to make gains in getting back to beast mode status.

Just in time for Round 57.

That’s life for a cancer warrior, and I am living it with as much gusto as possible.

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