C06d14: Fear and Loathing in Enkhuizen!


From the looks of it (although I don’t have my blood results from today yet, so no way to tell), I OD’d GCSF a bit again. Yesterday morning I had to resort to my last resort Oxycodon to counter the bone pain… But it was nowhere near That Saturday.

Anyway, the day turned out to be one of those “random perfection” days, despite how it started. We decided to have me rest (ie. no walking or cycing), and to do this, we drove up to Enkhuizen (well, with me drugged, Juli did all the driving of course) – a city I literally picked on Google Maps simply because the Houtribdijk starts there and it’s relatively close to Amsterdam by car. I then found out it is a fairly old and significant city too — even better, I thought. And there is “some sort of museum” there too, so we can go in there, or we can just walk in the city a bit and find some food with the kids, and call it a day.

By sheer luck, we took a “wrong” turn and ended up in the parking lot of the “some sort of museum”: the Zuiderzee Museum, and once there, decided to take a look. 45 bucks for the whole family, small building, we were absolutely without a clueon what we were getting into… and it’s perfection! I highly recommend it to anyone with a family. Boat trip from the “small building” to what is practically an old Dutch fishing village, with all sorts of old crafts, clothes, toys, food… Perfect for both kids and adults.

Long story short, we didn’t go to Ekhuizen, spent the whole day in the Museum, my bone pain got much better, and the day, combined with perfect Dutch weather (that is: some rain showers, some wind, but a lot of sunshine), turned out to I think the best day trip I’ve ever had with the family. What a way to finish a second week in the cycle!

Some photos below (and some on Instagram, of course) – enjoy!

Last round calling.

C03D21: 6.3 km in a day, 63 km in a week.

Cycle #3 is coming to an end, and I think so far this is the cycle with the best general condition — of me, that is. Not sure where wbc and rbc and all those good things are (we’ll see tomorrow), but lookie here:


This is from my Endomondo stats page. You can clearly see the improvement: 42.23 km in the first cycle (consisting only of walking, that’s the purple bar there), 63.59 km in the second (did some cycling and running there as well as the walks), and 128.23 in the third — with some running and a lot of cycling over the walks. Seems some kind of exponential function, so supposedly I should do around 350 km in cycle #4… Geez, what have I gotten myself into.

By the way, the last 6.3 km was actually me playing tourist with my mom in Amsterdam (finally! it only took 8 months):



You can see the rest of the photos here. Also see the tendencies in the second cycle: Fateful Saturday took its toll.

I am wondering what metrics should I measure. Once the bike is in use, kms are not that relevant, and calories I don’t give a shit about; after all, I am trying to gain weight here. (And with success: steroids plus workouts are my friends.) I was thinking of coolories… as in “running 4 km is cooler than cycling 10”. Can someone let Endomondo know?

Anyway, just wanted to articulate that in this cycle, I felt as if I could start cycle #4 on the second week already, and that since the beginning of my chemo, this cycle has been the best in terms of feels. That’s a good thing, right?

Hips don’t lie.

I though of this originally after the Fateful Saturday (Official United Nations GCSF Unfun Day), but then I never did it until now. So I’ll just throw this out here, as an insider joke:


The many, many fine layers to this wonderful image! From the reference to the pelvis (that hurt like fuck), to the reference to how the pelvis (and none of my other parts) couldn’t even lie down properly…

(Mind you this posture would absultely have been impossible in those 2 days. Heck, for me it’s impossible now too, in the same way I don’t possess Shakira’s vocal capabilities either… consider yourself lucky I didn’t try to recreate this image myself.)

Anyway, you don’t have to get the joke. Feel free to move along…

C03D10 status – cycle 3 almost done (and some stats geekery.)


Can it be so, that I haven’t posted stuff for more than a cycle? Naughty hobby blogger!

First of all, an executive summary, to answer the most frequent questions on status of my treatment:

  • I am in the middle of cycle 3, out of 8 cycles — so 5 rounds left
  • I am generally fine: side effects are mild and manageable (apart from some not-so-mild), I’m doing daily workouts, and doing some work (not very much)
  • I am anemic (not enough red blood cells), but my body is getting used to it, and as a result…
  • …I continue doing my daily workouts (running/cycling/walking) — check on Endomondo (accessible only to Endo friends), InstagramFacebook, or my related publicGoogle Photos Collection
  • There will be a big checkup with PET/MR, with lung and heart checks after cycle 4 (in about a month’s time); doctors will be able to comment on treatment progress then, but it is highly expected I’ll have to do the full 8 cycles to be on the safe side, regardless of the results
  • My spirit is high, and I am mostly in a good mood (as Juli can attest), and I receive tons (thanks!) of support from family/friends/colleagues
  • Wife and kids are doing great too: even with the side effects I am in much better condition compared to the 2 months of 40 degree fever back in Feb/Apr

OK then, on with the blog!

I have finished the IV part (or hospital part, call it whatever) of cycle #3 — GCSF part (you know: shooting yourself in the leg every day) is in progress. This time I’m doing 4 shots: Mon-Tue-Wed-Fri (so no Thu); hopefully this will help reduce (dare I say: avoid) the bone pain.

Still on the technical front, my blood results from the last couple of weeks are good surfing ground: from C02D08 onwards my red blood count was increasing steadily (besides WBC) all the way up to 6,5, thrombocytes to 331 (to pretty much normal values) — until this Monday when it dropped back to 5,3 and 142, respectively. WBC is down to 2,3. Not particularly good results, but from what I understand this fluctuation is normal after the IV part, and with the treatment in general: after all, chemo affects quickly generated cells, like blood cells (and hair, and skin, etc.) “Like the Assyrian empire”, to quote a classic… We’ll see how they go up again on my “rest week”.

More importantly, I decided to get a blood transfusion with the 5,3 rbc value, it is way too low, and for the days before the blood check I had felt some fatigue, a good sign of anemia — probably a good idea to get it over with so I have a good 2 weeks before the next round with a good energy level.

Even more importantly (and to move from medical jargon to to stats we all hold so dearly)), this didn’t stop me from doing my little workouts — typically 5+ km daily walks, or around 2 km runs, or, e.g., a 14km bike run on the day of the 5,3 rbc value. The panorama above the post is actually from that trip to Durgerdam. Absolutely lovely place with old wooden houses, boats (duh), and around 430 inhabitants. (Something I hadn’t noticed is on the left side you can see part of Juli’s bike and on the right side a part of Juli. Could just crop it to clean it up… but won’t.)

The key point is still: do something every day. If that doesn’t work out, then as frequently as possible. And despite the anemia, last week (22th Jun – 28th Jun) was a pretty solid week:


(This week may be somewhat better even, pending the GCSF effects. Also, I’m counting kilometres; at this stage I don’t care about calories you understand.)

In fact, last time I did this much was in November last year, a yet fully healthy month (well, supposedly.)

So to finish off on the good, sporty tone, and instead of a picture of a potato, here is us, wife and yours truly, on our bike trip: