C06d08: the last IV.

last #chemo iv finished! feeling grateful to all the wonderful staff at @vumcamsterdam, thanks for all!

A photo posted by Gergo Lippai (@lipilee) on


Finished with the IV part of my chemo today. Some GCSF, Prednisolone, and whatnot are still tbd, but I that aside what this means is I’ve finished my chemo.

David Chase couldn’t have written my last IV day better. The bed I got today was the very same I was at on my first day, about 12 kilos and a lot of knowledge lighter. There was a delay in me getting my IV coctail from the internal pharmacy, so I was the last patient to finish, standing there and having a chance to say goodbye to the deserted Dagbehandeling… and I met all nurses at the elevator, leaving for home after a hard day’s work, it was all like a Sopranos season finale. Weather outside is rainy and warm, giving these past month a nice and mellow closing.

And now… (What now?)

One more to go!

I have one more IV to go! Funny how I said I can do this cycle in whichever way, nausea, whatever, I don’t care anymore… In return on Monday I had nausea. So I decided this is not that funny and went back to discpline and decided I don’t want to do the cycle in whichever way, I want to do it my way… so the nausea went away by Tuesday. The control one has over one’s body eh?

Also, I hit the 87 kg mark. Granted, 3 of these 87 are water (prednisolon builds up the water supplies very quickly), but still, a “clean” 84 kg is not bad!

Last round calling.


Somehow this cycle seems to end up being the messy one, even if only a little.

First things first, day 15 blood results: everything is considerably (but not too) low, wbc is at 2.4 (better than this time last cycle), rbc is 5.7 (worse than this time last cycle), platelets 28 (worse than this time last cycle). I have since administered another shot of GCSF, so wbc is probably on the OK side by now, and yesterday I also got a blood transfusion so rbc is up to 7.2.

For some reason I didn’t feel the anaemia on Monday. In fact, I decided to put up some shelves, fix lamps, drill holes in the wall on Monday afternoon — something I shouldn’t have done, as I felt almost instantly afterwards.

I already had something in me that I probably triggered by overloading myself. Anaemia kicked in (drumming and white noise in the ear, fatigue and loss of breath, strenghtened neuropathy), and if I have to guess, I got myself some hidden sinusitis activated. (Which is not a particularly good thing when you are in chemo.) Then, at the hospital my fever went up to 38.4, and I generally felt like shit for a couple of hours, slept through most of the day. I couldn’t even go out for a walk in the afternoon, not something I often pull! (And just to add to the whining, this all came when my usual GCSF induced skin/bone pain was also present.)

Long story short, fever went down, sinusitis all but disappeared by now, and I feel a lot better — I won’t cycle today for sure (which is a pity, I wanted to see Sail Amsterdam), but I’ll probably do a 5 km walk. And I still have 4 days left of the “rest week” before cycle 6.

Learning: no drilling and stuff alone!

The Incredible Machine.

Not until you get into some sort of treatment you realise what an incredible machine a human body is. When everything works normal, and you are doing your daily life, and It Just Works (like Ubuntu should… haha), all the organs doing their stuff, in balance. You can try to kick it out of balance, but unless you try very hard (like with the cunning use of a hacksaw or something), it will find its way back and continue Just Working, ni balance.

When you are in treatment like me, your balance is broken and held up by medicine. But this balance is very easily broken and you need all the discipline (see practically all the posts in this blog) to keep it running more or less smoothly.

My artificial balance has been working quite nicely, but it can just as easily fall out – I mentioned this, chemo for me has been pretty much dealing with a list of “nuisance level” side effects, and I truly believe it has been the strong discipline that helped me keep it that way. Or sheer luck, how the fuck would I know — I haven’t dared breaking the discipline.

Well this round was somewhat special in this sense, in that I broke discipline a bit at the beginning (well, life broke it for me) and it butterfly-effected down to some disturbance in the Force balance:

Stomach problems around day 6 → had to do a diet → no proper food intake, stomach was empty on day 8 → reflux caused by bleomycine (day 8 IV drug) was quite strong → this may or may not have added to the (sorry, naturalistic details follow) fungal scar in my mouth for the past 2 days → eating hurts → further stomach fuckupery could ensue (but I forcibly force myself to force eat (some force)) → luckily it seems it didn’t though, I seem to be back to my artificial balance.

Point is: you have to have strong discpline to keep the balance, and a tiny detail can cause some big waves.

Also, while we are here: a big shoutout to 21st century medicine, you da real MVP. (One of them anyway.) It’s fantastic to see just how thousands of years of human self observation in a way or another has lead up to this point, where I am getting my white blood count artificially restored by the use of a granulocyte colony stimulating factor extracted from freaking RATS (although now that I mention this, I can not find an article to back this up… did I just dream it?…)