Wednesday, April 26, 2006

4.26.06, Side Effects: Hair Loss, Weight, Wood

If today had a number I'd go 8. Not bad. To a large extent I do think the hour-to-hour of the experience is based on pain management. A task that is both physically and psychologically unfamiliar. As I come to grips with the reality of it, the need for it, and the approaches to it, it gets better. The Franky Scale ups.

To update you on the chemo process, or rather my whereabouts therein, I'm currently in the first rest week (did I already write on this....? short-term memory loss as side effect....?). After two weeks of pill and IV chemo, I rest until Saturday; then I start up with the pills once more. Next week Tuesday, the 2nd, I get my first weekly infusion of the second mini-round of chemo (three three-week rounds making one complete cycle). During this week of no chemo drugs I do seem to feel better physically, less fatigued in general, some appetite now and then, and I think less by way of night sweats/chills too.

Side effects for me seem to have been pretty mild so far. No hair loss--well, unless you count my chest hair but I lost that during presurgical foreplay with Dr. Hands. Still hasn't grown back in all the way. Otherwise, same as before, all the same places. My weight also seems pretty constant, though I've been working at it diligently since the Flood. In addition to either Met-rx (sp?) and Balance and Trader Joe's protein/nutrition powder drinks, I've been trying Boost a couple or few times a day also. Appetite, or rather lack thereof, and lack of ability to taste or enjoy food have been pretty constant effects. Some dryness of hands, but no hand-food disease-level discomfort. And, knock on wood, no mouth sores of any type. As for wood--is this too personal?--I don't think I suffered much in that dept, nor do I hope anyone else suffered much in that dept. However, during this week of non-chemo days I, or, there is, how shall we say, a certain tingle in the air. Or let's say I feel somewhat more disposed to register the natural effects of Spring. What was it Eliot said about April? (Read his poetry and it's clear, he for sure had problems with wood, but that's more Prufrock than Wasteland.)

3 comments:

T: A jar of honey said...

Thanks for the witty updates. miss you a bunch.

T (must have something to do with GTX)

Heather said...

You know Mr. Jones, or shall I say Miss? I think it may hve been those lesbian asses that kicked spring into full gear...off to read Rich's essay,

H

Deborah said...

Dear Cancer Bloggers:

This is a message to those of you who maintain/read/participate in blogs related to cancer. Might we request your assistance in an academic study about cancer blog usage?

My name is Deborah Chung, and I am an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications. My research focuses on the use of new communication technologies and their potential to empower information consumers. Currently, I am interested in examining how health information seekers, particularly cancer patients and their families/friends, adopt blogs.

I am teaming up with Dr. Sujin Kim, also at UK, who is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science and has a sub-specialization in medical informatics. She has been working closely with the UK Cancer Center to build a biorepository information system (UK-BIS) for lung and ovarian cancer samples. Together, we would like to learn about how new information channels, such as blogs, are being used by cancer patients and their families/friends — specifically we are interested in their motivations, uses and consequences of using blogs.

As approved by our internal review board (IRB) at UK, this study is an anonymous survey that does not carry any risks to cancer patients. At the same time, we believe the information gathered from this study will greatly contribute to our understanding of the adoption of new communication technologies by cancer patients. This information will in turn assist in supporting the needs of cancer patients for future information technology and service development.

Thus, we would appreciate your participation in our survey. You can find the survey here. You might get a notice regarding the validity of the certificate. If that happens, please continue to proceed.

We appreciate your time, and thank you in advance for your help.

Sincerely,

Deborah S. Chung, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
School of Journalism & Telecommunications
University of Kentucky
dchung@uky.edu

Sujin Kim, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
School of Library & Information Science
University of Kentucky
sujinkim@uky.edu