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?
Yesterday I received my Day 8 IV coctail (Vincristine and Bleomycine), next up is 2 weeks without IV, I only have to take my (industrial amount of) meds. Let’s see the immediate aftermath:
- Due to the (I think) Bleomycine I spent 2 hours in the night coughing-and-not-sleeping. This impacted my day somewhat, in that I am now missing that 2 hours of sleep, and want to fall asleep instead of eating my dinner.
- I also had to start to administer subcutaneous G-CSF yesterday, which in normal speech means I inject myself (ugh) with the equivalent of that extra size red healing potion in Diablo that you can only buy, not find in the dungeon, cos’ it’s so big. What it does is it tells your bones to start generating white blood cells (WBC, for an added TLA), at once. Result: yesterday I had no white blood cells (normal for this kind of treatment), today I probably have them swarming (no sign of it on Foursquare yet), and this will continue until Wednesday next week, probably resulting in WBC figures 5 times the normal — but that’s a good thing.
- Added WBC side effect: I spent 2 hours laying in bed in pain this morning. Generating large amounts of white blood cells in a short time means your bones (mostly: ribs, scapula, and shoulders) hurt. A lot, apparently. Hard to explain the sensation, I guess it’s somewhere between your spine wanting to leave your body and start a new life in Florida (in FLORIDA!), and receiving a waterboarding lesson (maybe also in Florida). Reportedly Paracetamol helps, haven’t tried it yet, we’ll see.
- I’ve also had some mouth problems (scarring because of some fungus, sorry for the naturalistic details) since around Saturday — again, part of the game, they give you (yet another) medication for it. I’m not too bothered by it yet (doesn’t hurt), but wouldn’t be good to have my otherwise awesome appetite impacted by something like this.
On the positive front:
- I have no nausea at all, I can eat well, etc., meaning I have high hopes for the coming 2 weeks to walk, maybe start running, recover, draw, meditate, write.
- My back pain was mostly gone by noon and I could do a 2.5 km power walk in the afternoon. Added benefit: got myself a good apple pie from Vinny’s for the walk. Added benefit of this: I avoided the rain that poured for like 5 minutes while I ate the pie.
- I am currently weighing in around 77 kg, which is mostly due to last week’s binge eating, and then losing some yesterday (I guess; I always lose weight on hospital days, stress and whatnot). Target could be to hit 80 kg by the official end of this chemo cycle (May 31st). Seems absolutely doable!
After the first 3 days, there are 4 days of rest before the next IV next Monday. Rest means you don’t get IV but still have to take meds at home: one type of chemo med, antibiotics, a med to reduce the negative effects of antibiotics, antivirals, and Prednisolon, the IDDQD med you know.
For me this means starting to move again: I walked. I am doing 3 km now (more precisely: I did 2.97 km yesterday), and it feels very good, despite the slight ache I have in my throat. (Maybe the wind.) But walking in the sunshine, looking at the IJ, the ships and stuff… I always loved this.
On another note, today is the first morning without any B symptopms: sweats are gone now too (they haven’t been strong for the last couple of days, but they were still here), so I am at the 4th day without fever, and 1st day without sweats. Happy face!
Also, apparently the appetite is back. After Mon-Tue-Wed I was down to around 73.7 kg, now I’m back to over 75. Yesterday I was eating like there is no tomorrow, pretty much continuously. Sammo for brekkie, then some cookies, then another sammo, then a huge piece of salmon for lunch, some lemon cake for after lunch, another sammo with sweet chili sauce and goat cheese, some more cakes, some more sammo… all the way till around midnight. Watching around 3 episodes of The Sopranos helps of you need to eat!
And now, for some Djoghurt.