Friday, 22 January 2010

climbing out of holes

I've been back in the office since Tuesday. Christ, that first day was hard. I probably shouldn't have gone in. I didn't sleep well the night before (2:00am) as I was well and truly on the pity-pot, racked with self-pity and the 'poor me's'.

The day was a series of realisations of how detached I was from the reality of a working office, how difficult thinking about anything other than how shit I felt had become and how exhausted I could get just walking up stairs or to the shop to get lunch. I know how it feels to be that old, confused man who talks to pigeons in the park.

The week, however, has improved daily and as I write this on Friday at 17:00, I'm pleased to report that I'm 'good enough' to work and enjoy life. Of course, when I say 'enjoy life', I don't want to conjure up some Gillette Mach3 world of eternal happiness here. This is not the best a man can get, but it'll do.

And so it would appear that this is the way it shall be. One week 'off', one week 'on'. The 'off' week shall contain a couple of frustrating days trying to get back to be 'on', but I think I'll reside myself to the fact it takes a whole week to be 'good enough'. Too many quote marks ...

... but not enough bullet points. I like bullet points. I'd like a bullet gun to be honest, but that's another story.

  • I've had a haircut. And it's haircut that would ensure cries of 'HAIRCUUUT!' from pointing school children in the playground many years ago. As it stands, my now grown-up peers just stare into their laps after stealing a glance. It's a pretty damn short haircut to be fair, but as my hair was breaking off and leaving itself all around my bathroom, the time had come for it to go. Fuck it.

  • I had a blood test and a quick consultation with my consultant on Wednesday, who told me that I was 'good to go' for my next session. She didn't say 'good to go' actually. She's not American. I just paraphrased it for you. Now I wish I hadn't bothered. Anyway, I'm 'good to go'. You can imagine how happy I was with that news. Does my sarcasm travel via the medium of text blogging? I do hope so. But for the avoidance of doubt, I wasn't happy and I was being sarcastic. I was hoping for another extra week off before being hooked back up to the Drips from Satan's Ballsacks. Fuck it.

  • I mentioned to my consultant that just talking or writing about my chemo treatment - especially the Drips from Satan's Ballsacks - made me actually feel nauseous. I thought as first I was imagining it, but it's repeatable and continues to the point where I'm getting it RIGHT NOW. To stress the point, I just used capitals. Capital letters stress points, as any internet forum visitor will tell you. To my surprise, I was told this was quite common, especially by those that are having ABVD chemo. I used capitals then as those are letters of abbreviations and not to stress a point. I don't know how I would express ABVD if I wanted to do it forcefully. Anyway, I digress. There is a name for this 'nausea from memory' thingy, something like 'recall nausea' or something, but I didn't remember it because it at the time as I was starting to feel sick just talking about it. FUCK IT.

  • I've also discovered this week that there is such a thing as 'chemo brain'. If you don't believe me, go and look it up on Wikipedia. Do I have to do everything around here? I'm quite ill you know! Anyway, In a nutshell, about 30% of people who have chemo report having 'chemo brain'. Maybe the other 70% forgot to report it, as apparently it affects memory and your ability to 'do stuff' as quickly/sharply as you used to be able to do. You cannot multi-task and will get 'things' confused. The good news is, according to the reports I read, is that is goes after 4 years or so. Well, that's a relief, I thought for a moment it was going to drag on for a bit. I'm sure the 4 years will fly by, as I'm leaving my wallet in the fridge and wiping my arse with my toothbrush. Fuck it.

  • I've made a decision. I will have to fill the 'good weekends' with things to do that are fun and involve other human beings. I will have to stop my normal 'go home and see what happens' weekend plan. Because, nine times out of ten, guess what? ... nothing fucking happens ever. No one wants to play with the teetotal, drugfree kid, so I end up watching 8 hours of football straight and pacing around my room like a rabid dog in an airport quarantine. As I now have the luxery of having a whole week to go insane during my sick week, I need to make more of an effort on my 'good weekend' to do things that The Normal People do. I'm pleased to report that I've successfully played The Cancer Card on a few of my friends and I have a whole weekend of things to do. Which is good news, although this rather cheery final bullet point has left me with no way to end my paragraph with a self-depreciating or cynical comment. Hmmmm.

    Fuck it. 


Simon said...

Does that mean you could come to visit us on a 'good weekend'?

We'd like that.

Worthing is very flat so the walking is about as un-taxing as it can be.

Plus it's full of old people so, if needs be, we can hijack you one of those electric mobility scooter thingies so you can steam silently along the sea front, mowing down unsuspecting children. Believe me, it works, I've seen old people do it.

On another note - recall nausea. I imagine this has something to do with the fact that when you think about seeing or feeling something, your brain does exactly the same thing as when you actually see or feel it.

I say "does exactly the same thing" but our capacity to test these things is extremely crude. It amounts to "the same bits of your brain light up in the same way".

The upshot is that, whether you are *seeing* something or just *thinking* about seeing it, the reality in your brain (and therefore your body?) is the same.

Tell your brain to pull itself together.

The Kemo Kid said...

Cheers Simon - you know everything. All your brain lights up all the time.

The Orb wrote a 22 minute song about your brain at the centre of the universe.