Camp Chemo


This morning on my New York Times feed is a story about the treatment of Hep-C in Egypt with a new drug that costs considerably less there than in the United States. It replaces Interferon, fraught with nasty side effects. I would have to concur.

Today was day eight of 20 daily Interferon-chemotherapy sessions at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua.There is a steady stream of chemotherapy patients that keep the nurses busy. So far, I think I might have seen one person twice. There’s a sign that says no guests, but some people cannot read. Learn, please.

I’m off on the weekends, which is nice. But then it isn’t so nice because when Monday and Tuesday roll around, the misery begins again. Body aches, fever, flu-like symptoms, and my skin hurts so much. The third day of the week is a little better. We’ve been sorting out ways for me to cope. Tylenol, which I used to control fever, was hurting my liver, so I had to cut back. Percocet works well on my headaches, and I also have an anti-nausea medication. I am very dehydrated all the time, so starting today I get 2,000 ml saline intravenously with the Interferon.

Nothing tastes good, not even water. Everything tastes metallic. Really? What was I thinking when I asked if it would be OK to have a glass of wine now and then? OMG keep it away. Ginger ale and apple juice are my new friends. Ginger Rush’s zestiness goes unnoticed in my mouth. Cooking is impossible. It will be a while before anyone is going to #EatAtMoms. I can sip broth.

I have been driving myself to and from my treatments out of necessity. You know how you have to do something, no matter how difficult it is, that you cannot get out of it? There is no point in being a cry baby, you just get it done. Once home, my body has permission to crap out, and it does spectacularly. Fortunately, John will drive me tomorrow.

My hair is expected to thin, but not completely fall out.

You would lose weight, too, if you couldn’t keep anything down.

My whole life certain people have decided I’m fat, no matter what. I expect that if I do lose weight for chemotherapy, I’ll still never be thin enough for them. Shutting down that conversation.

The funny thing is, I’ve downloaded books, I’m watching “Weeds,” and I play Words With Friends with a couple of people. But most of the time I have no energy to do even that. I mostly sleep. If I had the energy, I’d take care of my yard.

Author: lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer is my new opponent. Writer, super sub teacher, triathlete, awesome cook, ocean girl with head-to-toe sun protection.

3 thoughts on “Camp Chemo”

  1. No guests? My mom just finished chemo and each patient was asked to limit their guests to one at a time. It was nice for the people hooked up to their infusion pumps. My mother ended up on an appetite stimulant (her weight got scary low) and now it’s frightening how much she consumes. Hang in there, lavagal! Better days ahead.

  2. Was your Mom at Kaiser? I’m really not up for guests while doing it, and I find they tend to spill over into the small space of other patients.

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