Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Synapses, shmynapses.

I think my course of therapy is harder on the people around me than it is on me.

My discomfort is relatively minor. The main effects are a sorty foggy dopiness. I'm generally aware of what's going on, and I can manage some moments of sharper clarity and moderate effectiveness, but for the most part, I'm just not firing on all cylinders. This is mildly disconcerting to me, but, I think, an insidious burden on my household.

Some examples:
  • This morning, I was aware that it was rainy out, so I put on my hiking boots to keep my feet warm and dry and to help keep my footing secure. Nevertheless, I slipped on the back porch steps and fell. No great damage - I bruised my back and had a bit of a start;
  • At Einstien Bros' bagels this morning after radiation, Judy noticed that my hands were shaking as I ate and drank;
  • In the car, I found it took particular effort to aim my finger at the buttons I wanted to press on the radio;
  • All the extraneous and wrong words in my posting yesterday (and likely today);
  • Increasing "tip of the tongue" effect where I know what I mean, but can't come up with the words;
  • An ambiguous grasp of the passage of time;
  • Having to retype this blog entry in its entirety because I did something wrong at the very end of the first effort and lost it all.

Judy is a rock, but this is wearing her out, both the demands of my schedule and the constant effort of looking after and worrying about me. She also picked up a bug from one of the kids. She's on antibiotics, but really needs some good rest.

I contacted a friend this afternoon who'd offered to do some driving this week. He'll shuttle me to chemo and radiation tomorrow afternoon to give Judy a break. That should help.

I'm 2/5ths of the way through this week, and so far, well - so far.


Blogger vkenny said...

Hi Jimmy, As I read your comments I shudder at the similarities between our lives. I fully understand the situation you & Judy are in, as you know Ed & I have been dealing with his chronic Leukemia for 10 years, it has been some of the best & most trying times we have been through. We have always dealt with Eds' illness on a one day at a time schedule so we are pretty much prepared for anything that may come. I know you wish you could lighten the burden on Judy a little but when all is said and done you will both be stronger for the battle you have waged together. Keep Fighting the good fight

1:54 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Hey Jim!

Glad to hear that the discomfort is rather minor. I've seen some chemo patients respond to it by having some ataxia (balance problems when walking), shakiness, and other motor coordination stuff. This shows that the chemo is working, that the fast growing cells in your body (including Cromwell and the roundheads) are being affected. For best results, take it very slow, and please be very careful with falls.

A lot of times, it does seem that the disease process is just as significant to the people around you as it is for you. I'm glad to see that V is posting regularly, as she speaks from first-hand personal experience. I'd also recommend, if you, Judy and the kids feel it necessary and feel comfortable doing so, getting into a free support group for cancer patients and their families. You'll find unbelievable resources from the families- tips, hugs, and a "I completely understand" experience that you know isn't BS. You can call the American Cancer Society to find dates/times/places. Also, if Judy needs errands run or some respite time to just nap, I'm available this weekend! Take care!

6:28 PM  

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