Chemo round 4 – this morning

This morning I’m back in the chair for round 4.

The whole thing is starting to take on a routine feeling: take my prednisone and anti-nausea drugs in the morning; head in to that familiar room on Geary st. for my infusion; head home and either sleep, or feel wired from prednisone.

I’ve been feeling pretty good for roughly the past 10 days. So I’ve loosened up a fair bit, jogging more, taking kids to the park, binge watching man in the high castle, at night. In fact it’s been the longest stretch of feeling good this whole treatment which is both wonderful and a bit perplexing. Based on conversations with others that have gone through this, and my oncologist, I should be feeling worse at this point. Chemotherapy tends to have a cumulative effect, breaking the body down. I’m not complaining, more curious why the trend is going against expectation. And just when I think I spotted a pattern I got really tired the past couple of days, in bed at 7pm – go figure.

Meantime several of you have been concerned in not hearing from me – indeed my writing has suffered, as several readers have let me know with SMS nudges (glad people are reading and thanks, seriously!). There seems to be an inverse relationship between how good I feel and how much I write.

With this round I’m now crossing firmly into the second half of this treatment. At the end of this round I’ll do another CT scan to measure progress. My sense is that things are working. The evidence is that the tumor is much smaller than it was – in fact I can barely feel it by hand anymore (I do still feel a strange and hard-to-describe fluttering in this location sometimes). Remember this tumor was the size of a softball, so something is happening! And my intuition is that I’m feeling better overall because the drugs are having their intended effect and the cancer is going away. That’s what I’m telling myself. We’ll see soon enough.

I’ll be honest that I’m nervous anyway. I know I don’t really control the outcome and wouldn’t do anything differently than I have. Still, the prospect of the official assessment is pretty scary and I can’t help but run through the scenarios which again, helps nothing, changes nothing.

So here’s to a boring infusion.