» Radiation tri-blade » Today is day #23 since the end of my chemo and radiation treatments. The blood-count nadir for this chemo is » "14-23 days". So that means I should definitely be on the mend beginning today.

Cancer treatment in the 23-day old rearview mirrorDay #23 for Patient #23

The chemo doctor said that the three-weeks-after-treatment is done will suck-the-worst. (I'm paraphrasing, of course.)

She was right. Actually, I would put the sucky focus on days 3-13 .. as the worst of the worst.

I could certainly elaborate but will spare you the gory details.

» Worst is Behind

Between you and me .. the thing I am really looking forward to .. is that day when it occurs to me .. that this 'thing' .. this cancer thing & especially the EFFECTS of its brutal treatment regimen .. is/are behind me.

FrankensteinI cannot say that today, tho. Because this 'thing' is all up in my ass, presently. Like a toothy croc munching on your butt.

But certainly, day #23 represents at least the beginning of the end. And that alone brings a degree of comfort .. that I made it beyond treatment and survived.

In other words » the worst is now behind. (Tho, no .. I admit, it does not feel that way.)

It was not that long ago, you know, when I was writing » "This shit does not look doable. Not from where I currently stand .. at the mid-way point of treatment."

(And it didnt, either. Nor was it later on in treatment.)

» Treatment in the 23-Day Old Rearview

Two days after treatment ended, my chemo doctor examined me and said, "Well, I must say .. for having JUST finished treatment .. you look fantastic."

(Tho no, I confess I hardly felt fantastic. Closer to Frankenstein than fantastic. Much closer.)

Cancer treatment in the 23-day old rearview mirrorThat was the day she gave me a big hug. "Completion hug," she said with arms wide.

"That was pretty hard," I had to admit. "What an ordeal." (I will take a hug from my chemo doctor any time.)

» Hardest Thing You'll Ever Do

While I was waiting recently to see the chemo doctor .. the nurse for the radiation doctor came out and saw me. She came over and sat down and we chatted for 10 minutes .. there in the big waiting room.

She has seen me violently shaking and projectile-vomiting, during my 2nd clinical trial .. so our level of familiarity goes beyond the usual niceties of social grace.

It's interesting how we can develop these mini relationships with people that feel surprisingly intimate ..

Today's entry concludes in Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 .. see here » Day #23 for Patient #23

» Radiation tri-blade » I have been trading emails recently with the sister of clinical trials patient #24. (I was #23, like Michael Jordan.) Her brother is three weeks behind me in treatment. Today is his final chemo and he has one week of radiation left.

Cancer cells dividingCancer is Such a Mystery

Most interesting of all the things she wrote is this »

» "Cancer is such a mystery. My brother was the epitome of health before treatment. A marathon runner, a tri-athlete and an elite cyclist.

He never smoked, he didn't drink and he ate a very healthy diet. He is only 39. So who knows?"

I read her statement multiple times. I could feel myself trying to wrap my head around the implications.

If nothing else, it doesnt seem fair, does it?

As a cancer patient, you cant help but try to figure out this shit.

During my many rides down to Moores, I would talk to the drivers. I recall one saying »

» "I smoked two packs a day for 25 years before I quit." [ And he never got cancer. ]

Myself, I smoked a little as a teenager, but never really enjoyed it very much. Rather, I was just trying to be cool.

My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer after not having smoked for 20 years. [ "Honey, we didnt know cigarettes were bad for you. When we found out, we quit." ]

I've never been much of a smoker or a drinker. Go figure.

Today's entry concludes in Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 .. see here » Cancer is Such a Mystery