C05D06: side note on side effects.

Fell silent for a couple of days, but that doesn’t mean life ain’t happening. I started C05 in the meantime, blood results were mostly good on day 1: rbc and platelets perfect, wbc a bit low. Doc tells me this is normal, bone marrow is getting tired of this roller coaster of “don’t generate wbc now” – “no wbc at all now!” “wait for it” “NOW generate a shitload of ’em!”, so the usual amount of stimulation was only enough for a 3.9 wbc. It’s OK, but could be better.

Nothing much to report apart from this, so this will be a post on some side effects, because why not. And because I am by now convinced that chemotherapy is mostly about dealing with the little annoying side effects, and some big ones.

My fungus thing comes every cycle like clockwork: day 5-6 of the cycle, I can blindly start taking my Fluconazol, because if I look in my mouth in the mirror, I’ll surely see them — the fungi.

Anaemia: by now, apparently anaemia is a clockwork thing too (for these last remaining bits), comes in around day 4-5. Impacts my stamina somewhat, and my brain a lot. Workouts help with the stamina thing, I operate like sherpas do: can execute physical activity even with low blood oxygen. I could be a sherpa. “A scarce breed in NL,” Ian would add!

Just to be clear: the fact that I’m anaemic does not prevent me from doing sports. As a matter of fact, I got this toy yesterday:


elbow rest for the hassled vein kid #cycling #chemo

A photo posted by Gergo Lippai (@lipilee) on


Hair loss. The side effect most commonly associated with chemo. (Together with the extra water you retain because of Prednisolone, it results in that typical bald-n-chubby chemo patient look.) When you think of it, you usually think of hair on the patient’s head; well, that’s only part of it. Eyelashes (I have around 12 of them left, total), mustache and beard (not that I had too much in the first place, now there’s none), most of the hair on my legs (calf, to be precise; I look more and more like a pro cyclist), and, we need to talk about this as well: pubic hair. (By now, all of it.) Oh, and btw: apparently these last 2 cycles, the hair loss got stronger (I guess the amount of anti-hair stuff from the chemo adds up), for example my eyelashes really started falling out in the past 2 weeks.

Skin. Yes, chemo patients are not supposed to go out on the sun. Reason: we don’t tan, we burn. We need to use 50 factor sunblock if we do go out. Except when I did it, got burnt even with 50 factor. Or allergic, who knows. Nevertheless, I drove around 30 mins on the sun (well, in the car, that was on the sun) the other day, and got burned very badly. Swollen read intchy head badly. So I ended up just not going out on the sun at all. Direct effect of this is it gets boring inside during the day, and of course I only do workouts just before sunset.

Well, that’s it for today and on side effects.

Quick update on weight: I’m over 86 kg. Lot of it is muscle!

C04D15: CT results.

So I had a CT on C04D11 (Thursday of the second week of the fourth cycle — this now sounds like the specification of a religious holiday). (Also, we don’t start a story with “So I…” Well, I just did.)

Also, I would have posted this earlier, except we went on a holiday… the kind where there is no WiFi, and where there are horses. Like this gorgeous guy:


CT results are in, and we are HAPPY. (Doctor: “I am happy, that means you should be too.”)

Lymph nodes are generally smaller than they were at the time of my original diagnosis. Although size can still be bigger than normal, this can also be because of some “scarring”, ie. when the cancer cells disappear from the nodes, they still have these scars (fibrous tissue, maybe?), adding some size. Sounds scarry!

Lungs are OK. (We knew before too — I didn’t have any problem with them during treatment.)

Splenomegaly (enlarged spleen) is gone, my spleen is back to normal size — this also means the hypodense areas are now healed too. I can start lifting shit.

My liver is close to OK too: although I didn’t get a chance to process the values, they are “very close to normal” according to my doc, which, considering some of the liver values were almost 20x the normal value back in Apr, is a good thing too. (But again, no details here, yet.)

So what’s next? First of all, Cycle #5. Then, Cycle #6. Then, 4 weeks of returning to normal life. And then: a PET/CT to see them lymph nodes are really the real deal and even if some of them are somewhat bigger still, there is no active lymphoma in them.

So far so good then. For me the two big takeaways are these: my approach to the therapy has been verified as working, and my spleen is back to normal, no risk of a rupture.

To close, a rooster: