It’s been such a long time

November 18, 2006

My apologies for the lack of a post since Election Day, but I have my reasons. First of all, I’ve discovered that although cancer tends to shatter one’s usual routine, it brings a replacement routine with it. Naturally, it’s a bizarre one, filled with needles and drugs with almost unpronounceable names and constant appointments, but the fact of the matter is after about a week the whole experience of having cancer develops a certain rhythm to it. Such is the case with my chemotherapy: needle in, drugs in, and I’m out the door for a weekend of nausea and sleeping. I know I have my fans, but to be honest, I can only squeeze so much drama out of each treatment. So frankly, I didn’t have a lot to talk about after last weekend, which I suppose is a good thing. I’ll spare you an overview of my nausea.

The other reason for posting is that I did not have that great of a week. Not only did I have two papers due, but I was also trying to ease myself on to a new sleep medication. Stress really built up, and by the middle of the week I was a bit of a mess. On Tuesday, I had to walk out of my first class, and during my second class I had become so ill that I switched to a run out of that class. I was so disoriented that I ended up getting ill to an audience of one in the lobby of UVA’s exquisite (ok, so it faces the stadium and is blocked by some steam generators). Not my proudest moment. I spent the rest of the week trying to get my act together and think I did; all I really know is that I am now at home for Thanksgiving (so if you’re thinking about sending me correspondence, please be advised I will receive it quickest at my parent’s address through the weekend after Thanksgiving).

I had a doctor’s visit yesterday. Well, actually, it was meant just to be bloodwork, but because of some ailments that developed through the week a full check-up was required. Dr. Densmore’s LNP Hayley checked me out, looking at my mouth for the pain and sores that I’ve been experiencing. She gave me some prescriptions, one of which oddly could only be made at Walton and Smoot. As for the bloodwork, my numbers were back up, but again, caution prevails.

Allow me to apologize once more for a lack of posting, but I’ll be trying to get back up to speed. Keep in mind, though, that we’re coming upon exams, which have always been a challenge for I, the master of procrastination, an experience that will be amplified by the needs of my current condition.

One shout out though: Since I am going to be in town for the week, drop me a line at craig.orndorff@gmail.com and maybe we can do lunch of something. And of course, I’ll be free later in December. Still, I’d love to see some of the people that I know are counting on me, and I want to show them they won’t be disappointed.


Days like this

October 16, 2006

So, nothing really happened today.

Well, it did, which I guess is what made it normal. I was able to get to class, and I ate on a rather normal schedule. I also was finally rewarded with the removal of my stitches, allowing me to choose which side I want to lay on! Yippie!

But other than that, not much to report. I’ll probably be out for a couple of day, but I’ll try to let you all know what we find out from my bloodwork on Friday.


Nothing Lasts Forever

October 15, 2006

It was just another day….okay, another Sunday. I didn’t wake up until 10:30, which was well deserved, as last night was the first time in almost a week I got to sleep in my bed. Funny story: Last night I ended up on the left side of my neck, and I woke and absolutely freaked out (my stitches are on the left). Ok, maybe the experience was funnier than the story….

Anyways, I spent most of the day a little nauseated again. I can’t say that I don’t really want to eat; just nothing seems appetizing. I wasn’t able to eat anything until about 3, when I fixed myself a big bowl of soup. Even then, when I found a little green speck on one of my noodles, I suddenly got the urge to lay down and not look at the bowl. I did finally get it down though.

I just kinda went through the rest of the afternoon like that. I watched American Splendor; funny, I forgot Pekar had lymphoma.

Anyways, it’s probably best if I lay down now. I’ll try to check back in tomorrow.


There’s got to be a morning after

October 14, 2006

Allow me to apologize in advance for what may seem to be a rather frank and detailed description of how I’m feeling. However, I feel it’s the only way to be true to the dual purpose of this blog. I get to let it out, and in telling other people about my experience I hope to prepare others should this ever happen to them.

On to the show. Things got a little worse once I finally settled down for the night. I was restless after watching television, but after a while I finally managed to drift off to sleep. However, at around 12:45 I got the most terrible feeling of nauseua. Imagine being ill and yet so tired that you simply don’t want to get up to do anything about it. I twisted and turned for a while and eventually sat up on my futon. At around 1:30 I got up to get a ginger ale. It was at this point that I discovered the real benefit of having my mother spend the night. She heard me stirring and eventually came down and got it for me. I had actually already gotten my drink out, but I had almost no guilt in letting her take care of the rest. So I sat back on the futon, drank the ginger ale and tried to get back into the mood for sleeping. I surfed the net for a while and eventually my stomach calmed down. I also benefited from the fact that my stomach flared up at just about the same time I could take my medication again. After the pill I was able to get some more rest until around 6. Again, I was having some gastric distress. Unfortunately, there was little I could do about it. I managed to stir my mom again, and she got up and tried to hunt down some OTC medication for my concern. Unfortunately when she came back she realized that I couldn’t take it with nausea as well. She cleaned my apartment, and eventually I calmed down to the point where I drifted back to sleep. Not wanting to awaken me she went upstairs to sleep and summarily succumbed to her own fatigue.

I woke up at around 1:30, far more chipper than before. We had lunch, and I spent the afternoon alternately reading and watching a VH-1 documentary about the history of hip-hop. Given this and my interest in the MC Hammer biopic of Thursday night I’m wondering if this condition has suddenly begun to affect my musical tastes (although I did spend a few minutes with Vince Gill on CMT today). I struggled with nausea on and off most of the afternoon, but by the time my dad arrived to pick up my mom things had subsided. He also brought the ingredients for dinner, a lovely sausage and brocoli skillet. It was quite good, but unfortunately nothing is settling very well with me these days. As we speak I’m experiencing a little backlash from dinner. Nothing serious, but these things just seem to come in bouts. I’ll be fine for a while and it’ll just flare up. Not much I can do, I suppose, but it is rather inconvenient.

It was last night that I realized that perhaps I had underestimated chemo to some degree. Right when you come out you feel fine. Certainly there’s some fatigue from sitting for all that time, but it’s not like someone has to drive up to pick you up. In fact, there’s some triumph in making it all the way to the parking garage. However, I suppose given the way the drugs work, you shouldn’t expect everything to come on at once. That’s alot of outside material floating around your body, and certianly these things can’t be working alone.

Anyways, I said I’d keep it short. I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes, but frankly I just expect more of the same. Que sera sera.