C12: Something More Interesting to Report

Chemotherapy knows things. Chemotherapy reads blogs. Chemotherapy is vindictive, malicious, and cruel. Chemotherapy is malevolent, heartless, and spiteful.

At the conclusion of C11, I said I had no side effects and I felt cheated. Well, that came back to bite me in the ass, didn’t it? Chemo 2 was last Monday 20th. Tuesday I felt fine. Wednesday it started. The finger tingling got worse and I acquired shaking hands which developed a penchant for spontaneous cramping. My stomach felt like it had an inflated football inside of it. Not only that but it was accompanied by nausea. Diarrhea descended (sic) in all its glory. My ankles became numb; no idea what that was about. I fluctuated between fevers and cold. I developed mouth ulcers. Not only that, but they combined with the tingle-inducing sensitivity to cold so that when I drank a cold beer my top lips sensed tiny shards of ice in the beer. There was no ice and it was only my top lips, but it was so realistic. Repeatedly complaining and searching for the ice was a fruitless task.

Once I arrived in Bali it got worse. I was totally restless. Couldn’t settle in one position or one place at all. I developed claustrophobia and had lots of bad dreams, Not quite the screaming ab-dabs of nightmares, but definitely the shaking, waking, quaking of things not wanted nor asked for.

Admittedly not everything is there all the time, but a good few of the possible combinations have played themselves out. It comes at you likes waves in the sea, ebbing and flowing, approaching and receding, teasing by sometimes touching you and threatening to cover your feet, while at other times it throws away the teasing and simply knocks you down and tries to drown you, each time bringing with it another mixture of the flotsam and jetsam it has collected while it recharged its evil batteries.

On the good news side, at least I think it’s the good news side, my hair seems to have stopped falling out in such copious quantities. Elliot came up with a neat description of why chemo makes your hair fall out and why nausea is the always present choice for mid-field general:

“Chemo attacks rapidly dividing cells – the cancer. However, hair follicles and digestive lining are also rapidly dividing, so they kinda get taken out by the friendly fire.”

Beautiful explanation. Friendly fire indeed. That’s exactly what it is.

So, the chemo bit back. I flew overnight from Mumbai to Bali last Wednesday and that was not pleasant. Fortunately, everything was reasonably on time but it was Malindo Air so no booze. And it was Malindo Air, so the videos were not particularly good. And it was Malindo Air which I’d flown four times in the previous week so I’d seen them all anyway. And it was Malindo Air so you can’t order special diet stuff and I had no idea what foods the cabin personage was trying to explain to me. And it was Malindo Air so that when I did agree on a food choice it was some Asian concoction which didn’t sit well with my taste buds. My problem, more than Malindo’s I think.

Now it’s Tuesday, late afternoon, and I wanted to write that I’m starting to feel better. However, I’m not.

People keep contacting me and I would really prefer to hide under a stone. Martini can lift the stone now and again and ask if I want my beer refilling; other than that, trying to find a comfortable position for sleep and then sleep itself is the activity of choice. I know their motives are honorable but I’ve always subscribed to the notion that no news is good news. If something horrible happens then someone else will have contacted you to let you know. Silence means [relatively] good news.

Go away, nasty chemo.

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