I like “oncology” so much better than “cancer.” Cancer is such a harsh word, so personal, so . . . wild and lethal sounding. Oncology is much more clinical and safe.
Anyway, I had my bi-weekly can . . . I mean, oncology appointment yesterday. Interesting appointment. As usual I was asked about my side effects, which ones I was having, how severe they were, and how long they were lasting. Did I have any questions?
Yes, I have a few questions. Am I getting stupider? Is the chemo killing brain cells or something because lately I’ve been feeling like a big dummy.
The can . . . oncology nurse practitioner assured me the chemo I’m getting does not kill brain cells but it does kill red blood cells which carry oxygen to the brain. So that “fog in the head” feeling (I call it the “big dummy” feeling) is a result of not enough oxygen getting to the brain. (Thought: if not enough oxygen is getting to the brain won’t that eventually kill brain cells?)
Great. So while the chemo’s killing the bad guys it’s also taking out the good guys. Shows no discrimination. Good news is, though, that the good guys can replace themselves, the bad guys can’t. Ha ha.
Then I asked about the fatigue. Yes, the fatigue will continue to worsen. Eleven days between treatments is not enough time for the body to fully recover so the fatigue has an accumulative effect. They don’t want to lengthen the time between treatments because while it may allow the body to recover it would also allow the cancer cells to recover. So there really is a science behind all this madness. Apparently, the sensitivity to cold is in the same boat. It’ll worsen. And I was so enjoying those couple days when I can eat ice cream and sip cold soda.
Darn, though, I forgot to ask if the big dummy feeling will accumulate (see? dumb). Will I eventually get so dumb my dog will be taking me for a walk so I can poop in the park?
So my can . . . sorry, oncology appointment didn’t quite go as I wanted. The news was not as glamorous as I was hoping for. This can . . . oncolo . . . oh, what the heck, cancer, yes that’s right, c-a-n-c-e-r, is going to really get on my nerves by the end of this bout with chemo. Just in time for it to be finished. I know it’s saving my life and all, killing all the bad guys, but c’mon, it’s gonna get so bad I won’t be able to have an Hawaiin ice during the hottest days of summer? Hold on while I get my violin out.