Feb 27 2014

You know what? This stuff actually works.


I had an MRI last week, and the good news is that the tumor has shrunk.

Significantly.   To just over one-third of its original size.

And my lymph nodes all look normal.  Which they did not before.

So… wow.

I was confident before that things would improve, and that science rules.   But it’s so lovely to actually see the results.

I still have plenty of chemo to go, but we do know that we are on the right track.  For sure.

Meanwhile, I sort of overdid things last week, trying to get my Day-Job ready for me being out for an extended period.   This involved lots of sudden creation of documentation for the more arcane procedures that I do weekly and monthly.   The company did not bring anyone in to cover my work — they’re just shifting it around to other people.  All these other people have jobs of their own to do.   I’m not sure how high a priority they’ll make the additional tasks.  I suppose that time will tell.

So, I actually put in over 40 hours last week, including Saturday, which did wear me down some.    But as of this week, I’m out of the office for a good long time.

On Monday, we switched chemo from one combination (Adriamycin plus Cyclophosphamide, called AC) to another (Taxol plus Herceptin, called TH), but since the side-effects of chemo do accumulate, I’m still feeling the build-up of all that AC.   I’m very run down, and this is a week were a lot of sleeping is taking place.

Reading is tiring this week (as is concentrating), so I’m mainly doing audiobooks.  What I’m listening to:  Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon &  the Journey of a Generation, by Sheila Weller.  I mainly bought it because of Joni Mitchell, who was so, so influential in my life; but I’m finding Carole King’s story just as fascinating, and Carly Simon’s illuminating in a different way.  King was lower middle-class/working class, Mitchell was solid, stolid middle-class Canadian Prairie, and Simon’s background  was upper middle-class, and very privileged.   Between the three of them, serially and overlapping,  they cover a period when women’s lives and what was possible for women to accomplish were changing wildly — and the hippie culture, and drugs, and birth control were all coming in around the same time.

The author, Sheila Weller, is a bit uneven, occasionally overblown, and seems sometimes to heavy-handedly speculate towards the most dramatic interpretation of ambiguous events… But mostly she’s fine, and is revealing exactly the sort of information I want to hear.

Ebook update: No ebook update this week, sorry to say.   Just too beat to accomplish anything worth reporting.    Next week is an off-week for chemo (only the H of the TH combo), and I’m hoping to get a bit more energy in the next few days.

Lastly:  Here’s a TED talk I liked when I first heard it,  recently heard again, and found I still like it just as much.