Monday, June 28, 2010

#205: RAD16, CHEM2, Pennsy Edgy Before Big Game

I'm awake early today. This will be my 16th day of radiation, 2nd of chemo. I know that the best part of my treatment is over and that things are going to get harder from here. I feel like I'm writing one of those letters that soldiers send their girl friends the night before a battle.

Today won't be hard, particularly, nor will tomorrow. Mostly I'll just be taking in fluids and peeing them back out. The old toxic waffle face shtick. After that, I'm in uncharted territory for me. The sore throat seems to be spreading. We'll be increasing the proportion of meals that I take through the tube, now. The docs have got me so worried about losing weight that it kind of makes it harder to eat, if that makes sense. Oh, of course it doesn't make sense. But my throat is becoming a very difficult passage to use for taking in nutrition and medicine. I can still take pills one at a time, but it is painful.

I'll see the whole team today. Medical oncologist, nurse oncologist, chemo infusion team, radiation oncologist, RAD techs. Sounds like a full agenda, but then, there's lots of time to kill. Two litres of fluid, a bag of poison, then two more bags of fluid. A trip to the radiation table worked in there. About six hours all together. All aiming to kill everything in my body except me. Three thousand years of medical science and that's still our best answer. Go figure.

The hard part about seeing all these docs at once is keeping all the lists straight. Lists of meds. Lists of side effects. New symptoms and complaints. Everybody's names. Jokes for the nurses. It is a sizable database. Fortunately, Mrs P is the better part of my brain and helps me keep my arms around the facts.

This weekend we walked around the stage at the arboretum where Lexington's summer theatre festival will play in a week. My heart ached to be up there with them. I so regret the hours I have spent away from the stage, not doing what I know I was created to do. When I'm back on my feet, I swear I won't make that mistake again. I'll be playing on some stage somewhere before another year has passed. Nothing else makes sense. Meantime, I can't wait to see the people I've loved and worked with sink their teeth into The Merchant of Venice, Pride and Prejudice,  and RENT in the coming weeks. I hope I can drag my big green plastic Adirondack chair out to the hill to see every one of them.

Time to get ready for battle. Bath. Pills. Breakfast. Funny hat. All systems go.


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