Some days the sun is warm on your face, the wind’s at your back and you’re walking down the street whistling Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. Other days, well, other days the wind is blowing dirt in your eyes and you’re trudging uphill, muttering to yourself and trying not to trip.
That’s how it goes for all of us.
The wind started blowing in my face on New Year’s Eve with a cold, cough and fever that meant I couldn’t start my next round of immunotherapy Jan. 4. Actually because of my pancreatic issues this is my third delay in starting since November.
I’m calling this next round the ‘Recliner Sessions’ because instead of taking pills, I’ll be in comfy chair hooked up to an IV that will deliver a drug called Nivolumab (Opdivo). It will buddy up with my immune system to shrink the tumours in my body. There are a couple of new tumours, one in my liver and one in my abdomen, so I am anxious to get going on the next round of treatment.
But the Recliner Sessions are going to have to wait.
I’m back in the hospital for another surgery to check out what a particularly pesky tumour is doing on my pancreas. I’ve been here since Saturday afternoon and Tuesday morning the docs will use an endoscopy to have a little look-see around my insides. They’ve been talking about putting a metal stent in to keep the tumour from messing up my pancreas’s enzyme production. I am going to ask the docs to do that tomorrow instead of waiting until February when we had it scheduled.
One of the things I’ve learned in the ever-shifting winds of cancer treatment is you have to really advocate for yourself within the health care system. You have to speak up, be firm and ask for what you want.
And sometimes you have to shave your arms. Another thing I’ve learned is that it hurts when the hair on your arm is yanked out along with the bandage holding your IV. So to solve that problem, I asked a nurse to help me shave my arm last night.
I look like a bald Chihuahua. A skinny one. The nurses keep telling me I’ve perfected the New Year’s diet -- I haven’t had a thing to eat or drink since Friday and I’ve lost the five pounds I gained over Christmas when I basically ate everything in sight.
I hope to back to eating real soon. In the meantime, Happy New Year! 2018 will no doubt bring some good and bad, some easy days when the wind’s behind you and some tougher days when you just have to take the hit and work a little harder to get through it. It’s all part of this crazy up and downhill hike we call life.
Thank you to Jen Allford for the writing of this post whilst I live in the low bandwidth hospital environment!