Weeks 5-7. The Slog.

I really meant to post more during this sad saga, but somewhere after the first month fatigue, apathy, pain, and a complete loss of my sense of humor happened.

My days consisted of getting up and going to treatment. Each week consisted of daily radiation, one day of chemo and two doctor visits somewhere in between. Through all that, I kept working. As I settled into a routine, angels and devils started appearing. Most of the medical staff were unbelievably cool, helpful, and professional. Some though, were capable of some unthinking cruelty. Fortunately, my wife dealt with them not unlike a honey badger.

I’ll give you an example. I didn’t have classic chemo nausea. I had plenty of medication to stop that. Chemo was Monday. By Wednesday evening, I’d feel a little queezy. Pop a pill, and it would vanish. What I had was what I’d call “Situational Retching”. Usually when I woke up, my mouth and throat would gum up. If I didn’t clear it right, I’d dry heave. I’d get up from the can to spit some goop into the toilet, and get a whiff of a fart I cut, and heave. I’d gargle with a salt water/baking soda mix, swallow some, and retch.

When called about this, one of the medical assistants blew off my wife saying “Take him to the hospital”. Sure. Go through the time and expense for a hospital visit that will lead nowhere. Luckily, with two doctors there was an automatic second opinion on tap if you couldn’t reach their actual nurse. One of the nurses, the good one as it turns out, gave my wife a metric on when to worry about a hospital trip.

When asked about this and the pain, my chemo doc exclaimed  “No, no , no. He (the radiation doc) is giving you the pain, I’m giving you the nausea….and you know, I’m not hitting you half as hard as I hit those geezers with prostrate cancer.”

The end of that story is I got an additional battery of anti-nausea meds to choose from.