zen.org Communal Weblog

April 12, 2011

Round 2

Filed under: — brendan @ 08:42 IST

In the left corner: the remaining leukemia cells which think they’re too bad-ass to go away.  In the right corner: my next cycle of chemo treatment, a bit stronger than the first (“induction”) cycle.  The bell for the fight will ring sometime this afternoon.  I was told yesterday (Monday) afternoon about the results of the most recent bone marrow sample and their plans because of them, but needed to let my own mind process it for a while before trying to write about it.

The treatment will reportedly be a combination of three different chemo drugs done in parallel: two of them will be for 5 days, and the third will be for just the first three days.  Then on Monday, they’ll start injecting the growth stimulation drug which, as described to me, is to get leukemia cells to where the chemo can kill them.  (I don’t know the detail beyond that—and don’t think I necessarily want to!)

Because it’s a stronger—and different—treatment, the side-effects can be different from what I had during the first cycle.  Don’t know what if any I’d be susceptible to, aside from being (again/still) very open to infection.  It’s also the same sort of thing as the list which appears in incredibly small type on a bottle of headache medicine: there’s a chance these could happen, but who knows which?  So I’m staying focused on the reason they’re doing the treatment, not on what I could experience as part of it.

As you might expect, hearing I wasn’t out of the woods yet was pretty hard to process.  A couple of people from the team came by to talk to me about the decision.  Elana was also able to stay at the hospital much later than normal, directly thanks to our great friend Doug from the US, who was able to visit over the weekend on his way back on a work trip; he was happy to get the boys fed and into bed so E could stay for a while.  Amazing.

I think it’s sometimes hard to really understand, to actually see just how lucky and how fortunate you can be with the people who are in your life.  Your family and your friends make up part of who you are, whether it’s clear to you or not.

After the last 5 weeks, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind.

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