Chemo Round #4

I will begin with an apology, yet again, for taking more than two weeks to update this. I have good reason, which I will explain towards the end of this post, but for now I'll just say that the weather has been really nice in Victoria lately so I've been trying to stay off the computer and get outside as much as possible. Up until my fourth round of chemo last Friday, I had about a week-and-a-half where I felt quite healthy, with enough energy to work each day, go out with friends, exercise, and generally enjoy life to the absolute fullest, given the circumstances!

My chemo session on Friday went well, all things considered, although I was really dopey by the time it was over. I didn't get very nauseous this time though, which was nice. I learned that eating a really big meal right before (or during) chemo helps in that regard. Anyways, here are a couple photos. My sister Jean kept me company the whole time, and my friend Anja stopped by for a visit as well. I was asleep when she arrived, as you can see.

I didn't feel too bad on Saturday, but Sunday I was hit with a wrecking ball of fatigue, so I spent most of the day in a daze. Monday was about the same, but Tuesday (yesterday) I woke up and felt pretty good. In fact, I felt good enough to lift weights for 30 minutes, although by the end I was feeling very anemic and didn't do much for the rest of the day. This morning I woke up and felt like I had more energy that usual, so I went for a 25km bike ride. I covered that distance in an hour which is almost on par with what I was doing last summer when I was really in shape. Yes, this happened only five days after chemo! Exciting, hey?

I am feeling very encouraged by the fact that I have started to be able to bounce back so quickly after each round. Our family doctor told Kaitlin that the fourth round is typically where people begin to really feel the effects of the chemo-induced fatigue. That hasn't been the case with me. It seems that the more I exercise, the quicker I recover. Each round of chemo was supposed to be a little bit worse, but so far each one has been a little bit better.
My meeting with one of the oncologists last Thursday was encouraging too. I was asking about my symptoms, and if exercising has the ability to lessen them, and he told me that he had recently read some independent studies that showed people who exercised regularly while fighting cancer increased their cure rates by as high as 60%. Since my cure rate is about 50%, that means by September I will 110% cured... right!?
While all this news is great, there have been three related things that are becoming consistently getting worse: My memory, comprehension, and ability to express my thoughts. It's downright embarrassing when I have to carry on a conversation with people who don't know what's going on, because I can't stop thinking about how confused I must sound, even while engaging in small talk. This is part of the reason why I haven't sat down for awhile to write a blog post. To be sure, I tried a couple times, but I just wasn't able to get sentences out in a way that makes sense. This post is not that long, but it's taken me a couple hours to write. While I've been told that things will slowly return to normal when I'm finished chemo, I'm still worrying about it a little. It's excruciatingly frustrating to be constantly forgetting things from both my short and long term memory, and I don't want it to affect my ability to teach in the fall.
I was going to write about something else today, but speak of the devil, I forget what it was. I'm not even joking. I guess I will leave it at that for now, and when I remember, I'll write a new post.
I don't want to end on a sour note, so I'll leave you with a fun song that my friends Rebecca & John introduced me to a few minutes ago when we were talking about music for John's brother's wedding that I'll be DJ'ing in September. Apparently this dance originates in Ghana, and the song is blowing up all over the South Pacific these days. Great Summertime dance tune!

Oh! I just remembered the last thing I was going to say: If you decide to leave a comment on any of my posts, please include your NAME in it. There have been so many comments from my friend "Anonymous" lately, but it doesn't have to be that way! In the drop-down menu underneath the comment box, select the option that says "Name/URL" and just type in your name. You don't need a URL and you don't even need to put your real name; just put something so I know who you are! :)

Lastly, I promise my next post will include answers to some of the topics people suggested when I sent out a call for ideas a few weeks ago.

Thanks for reading,Christopher

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