Archive for October, 2009

The Home Stretch

October 20, 2009

9 treatments down, only 3 to go.  I can see the end in sight, and it’s about time!  The last few chemo Tuesdays have been pretty rough – I’ve felt pretty sick, and last week I threw up for the first time.  I’m not feeling so great right now, but I took my anti-nausea medicine as soon as I got home (about 10 minutes ago), and I can take it again in 6 hours, so hopefully I’ll be OK this week.

On the upside, the doctor got back results from a CT scan and a pulmonary function test (PFT) that I got last week, and they’re both good.  According to the CT scans the lymph nodes are continuing to shrink, which is a relief.  I’ve been having a little bit of back pain the last few weeks, which was one of the major symptoms of lymphoma at the beginning, so I was a little worried that maybe the lymph nodes were growing again.  The back pain is probably just caused by the Neulasta I’m taking, which grows white blood cells (and every shot of which, the doctor informed me today, costs $2,000).

I took a PFT before beginning chemo so that we could compare my lung function before to my lung function after, since one of the drugs I’m taking (Bleomycin) can cause lung damage.  In a PFT, you sit in a little booth and they have you breathe into a tube in various fun ways, like with slow deep breaths, then short fast breaths, or hyperventilating breaths.  Then you inhale some kind of medicine and do it again.  My lung function before chemo was “super-normal” (I think because I have a freakishly large lung capacity), and apparently the results for my test last week were almost identical to those from before.  So, Bleomycin does not seem to be killing my lungs.

I’m really looking forward to when I’m done chemo and can have more than one good week in a row – as I think I’ve mentioned before, it’s a little tiresome to get into the swing of things only to have that interrupted by several days of feeling kind of gross and tired.  But looking back (and looking forward), I’ve been really lucky – almost every good week I’ve had something to do, usually preaching or high school chapel, and I’ve already got the next two weeks scheduled – high school chapel next week, Sunday Night Thing the week after that.  I preached in Kempton on Sunday, and I loved it.  They had Autumn Weekends after church, and so I got to eat delicious food in the company of a lot of really nice people.  It was a great Sunday.

And today I was excited about “Abbey Road” being released for Beatles Rock Band.  They hadn’t released it when Sylvia came over to play Rock Band at 10:30 this morning, so I put in Rock Band 2, only to discover that they just released 10 Queen songs, which are a heckuva lot of fun to play and sing.  With those plus the new Beatles stuff, I think it’s going to be a fun, Rock Band-filled week.