Hello Cruel World
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I'm in the third cycle of the Xeloda treatment — the one they changed to when the tests showed the first treatment protocol they tried wasn't working. Next week, at the end of this cycle they'll do another round of tests to see if this one has been doing better. I've been mostly able to control the nausea/diarrhoea, and it's nice to be getting hair back (except for the hair that's less popular, like the sub-prime moustache & beard).
The Hand-Foot Syndrome, though, makes life quite difficult and painful. Walking becomes not just tiring, but actually hurts — I'm reminded of the Little Mermaid — and doing all those little necessary, almost unnoticed stuff, like un/doing buttons or zips, turning keys, opening screw and non-screw lids of all kinds, using cutlery, even just writing, hurts and is awkward. White cotton gloves help somewhat, and being winter I can wear other gloves outside without looking too weird, which helps 'explain' my difficulty with getting coins out or picking up change.
What worries me is that if this is holding the cancer from expanding, but not shrinking it back, this drug is one they can keep you on long-term. I would hate to have to keep dealing with these symptoms for many months, or even some years. OTOH, it could be worse. We will see what we will see. Am hoping, unlike before, that cancer isn't advancing. At any time getting up the 57 steps can be a real chore, but it's worrying how just in the last week, following Don Giovanni, almost any walking has been exhausting & very painful.
Again, I'm so glad for the Australian medical system. These tablets are $700 a packet (about a cycle's worth), but I'm paying ~$30. I got a statement from MBF showing the thousands they've paid out in the last year (admittedly having paid them w/o claiming for decades). Plus there's the weekly home help. Recently Thomas M Disch, the American writer, poet & critic, committed suicide partly because he'd been bankrupted by the terminal illness of his partner and was being hounded out of his rent-controlled flat (also discussed at nielsenhayden.com/ makinglight/ archives/ 010413.html as well as elsewhere on teh Intartubes).
I've been continuing work at home, and got an injection of new leave to juggle at the anniversary.. I went in on the afternoon of my anniversary, after my earlier doctor's appointment, but was feeling quite sick, so I didn't go around to see different people. Luckily they didn't have anything arranged.
Am coping with the new flat, tho' it still has problems. I need to keep at the Strata Management people to get the leaking roof fixed, for instance. There's still things packed up in boxes, maybe 'cos I'm thingy about having to do it to move out, possibly in September when the lease expires. We've had a few problems with the flat nearby being renovated with sledgehammers and small jackhammers. Especially when they left the door open and cement dust got everywhere.
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Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.