Revenge of the Vinblastin
Today was the second chemotherapy treatment. Peanut butter cookies today. I wasn’t as excited about that. Anyway, I’ve put on 9 lbs. in two weeks, so maybe that’s ok.
The cookie selection was really the most interesting part of the whole session. There wasn’t much to it. They took the blood tests, I saw the doc, they pumped in the drugs and there were no problems. I watched a movie and listened to music.
And I’m glad I’ve got my headphones (thanks Cindy) with me, because I kind of wanted to tune out the Room. Say what you will, but the community atmosphere of the Chemo Room isn’t really my thing. Picture it, the poor guy next to you is having trouble as the chemo burns away his veins, everybody in the chairs – especially the older ones – are pretty hard up and not in the talking mood, the nurses are going on and on about hemoglobin and saline drips, and somebody down the way is trying to drown their troubles in Oprah. I’m not saying that I really have a problem with being there, I guess I mean that I don’t want to be there anymore than anybody else would want to be there. My parents sat by me the whole time reading the paper, and I assume, listening to the cancer chatter of the Chemo Room. My poor parents, I don’t think I could read the “feel-good” Chicago Tribune and soak in the vibe of the Room’s suffering all at once. I was happy to escape.
The doctor was quick today. There is a Chemo Room in his office that is way worse, I think, than the place I go. He mentioned in passing today that I should maybe think about switching Chemo Rooms to come to his. A little marketing on the doctor’s part – very clever, pal. In his Chemo Room, all the recliners are facing each other, there’s no dividers, there’s one TV in the corner blaring daytime TV for the blue-haired, early-bird-special kind of clientele. There, I picture myself in forced conversations about youth and future plans, and possibly being awkwardly introduced to grand daughter’s when they come to pick up Grandma. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a social guy, and I’m usually golden with the blue-hair club, but when I’m at chemo, I just want to blend into the fake leather and watch my sappy movie.
I also heard from doc today that it’ll be more like 6 months of chemo instead of 4. Bring it on, doc.
The results from my heart scan are back. I have a mild enlargement of the heart (the left side for those of you studying for the test). This is called Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. The nurse says that it’s likely from both being anemic and the tumor being wedged up against the heart for so long. I don’t know much about it, but it’s mild, and it doesn’t sound like that much of a problem.
Mom and Dad took me home and I climbed up into my hammock between the trees (thanks Rick) for the rest of the afternoon.
And I went to work tonight and played piano. There was really no reason not to, and I like my job – playing piano and surrounded by people. I do find that my fingers are not as coordinated as before chemo, but it’s a very minute amount (that might be more related to a lack of practicing lately and perhaps not the chemo), and its probably imperceptible to people listening. Or maybe it’s not and people are being kind. Either way, it’s not a problem yet, but I have heard of this kind of thing happening later in treatment. No worries, future bosses, it goes away.