Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.
In this passage from The Hobbit, Tolkien explains why it only took a few short paragraphs to describe an entire several-week stay in Rivendell. Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Dwarves just hung out, freeloading off the elves for at least a fortnight, and generally over-stayed their welcome. Everything was fine and nothing terribly important happened. So what was there to write about?
And this is the same situation I find myself in now. It seems like after my big announcement, talking about hair loss, and discussing some appetite problems, I’ve apparently run out of material. It’s been twenty-four days since my last post, and a period about as uneventful as a dwarven stay in The Last Homely House.
The usual cycle is: feel okay, get a chemo treatment, feel bad. Repeat as necessary. Last Friday I had my long-awaited, all-important PET scan, but the results are days away. About the only real change (from April) is that when I’m not otherwise horribly over-fatigued, I think I feel pretty good. My appetite is back to normal. Many foods I couldn’t tolerate before are now tolerable, and the previously tolerable foods are now almost normal-tasting. The numbness in my fingers is annoying but not debilitating. In short, I probably can’t complain.
I brought up this point at my regular appointment last Thursday. I told the physician’s assistant that all of this Feeling Mostly Better actually bothered me a bit. I framed this bit of irony with the way I felt when I first found handfuls of hair after shampooing. While I would guess most people find this alarming my first thought was, “Holy crap, this chemo stuff really works!” In other words, if my hair follicles are being killed then I bet other cells are also being killed.
But if after four chemo treatments I’m not feeling Awful All The Time, then I get worried. Because if I feel better, then does that mean the cancer is also feeling better too?
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” the physician’s assistant explained. Okay, maybe I’m paraphrasing a little. I believe what she really said went more like this. “You don’t feel as bad as you did two months ago because you were really bleeping sick then. At that time, you felt doubly bad: because you were dealing with the effects of the illness as well as the effects of the treatment. Now it’s just the latter. And the treatment is purposefully paced in such a way so that you definitely will feel better by the time you start each cycle.”
So I suppose everything is going along just fine. The PET scan results will let us know for sure, of course, but until then there’s really not much to talk about. I’ll let Elrond know we’re done here for now. Next stop, the Misty Mountains. Hope we can avoid the goblins.