This week marked Chuck’s third chemo treatment which means he is officially over the hump – halfway done! The dosage was exactly the same as before but as his tolerance for the Rituxan (immunotherapy drug) is so good, they can push that a lot faster so he finished a good hour earlier than last time. He also requested a 1 inch needle for his port (last time he had a 3/4 inch one) and that also seemd to make the drugs drip in faster. He had a luxe room with a private bath so was living large – at least when he was awake enough to enjoy it! He’s asleep for about two hours of each treatment which sounds like a pretty leisurely day but is actually is quite exhausting.
As always, they started the day with a CBC (complete blood count). All his numbers were good (again) and blood pressure perfect. The doctor was quite pleased by those facts and impressed to hear that he is still running, albeit slowly. Chuck and his sister have dubbed his current running style RFS (for Really F#%*ing Slow). The doctor said that he’ll get slower still as the effects of the chemo are cumulative which means he may actually start going backwards soon. 🙂 – but he still plugs away, walking or running depending on how he feels.
On the upside, the doc thinks his hair loss has peaked, so he will hang onto what’s left of his eyebrows & mustache. Chuck asked about his increasing tiredness, and learned that it is completely normal and he should go with it – if he wants a nap, take a nap – if he wants to walk rather than run, he should walk rather than run. His appetite is quite healthy though his taste buds are shot – he came home from chemo and vacuumed up four hot dogs (that was after they served him lunch!). So he’s definitely NOT wasting away. He did have some nausea this week post-chemo – not bad but another sign that things are definitely happening inside him.
It’s amazing how we have settled into this “new normal.” Most days we don’t think too much about the cancer – when we made the appointment for the PET scan in early March that will be the first real opportunity to see how effective the chemo has been we both had a moment (or two) of frightened anticipation – is it better to know or continue in happy ignorance? There’s really no choice of course – we’ll face that knowledge, whatever it is, and deal with it, good or bad. I’m knocking on wood and praying to whoever’s listening that it’s good. 🙂