Chemo is working

Well I don’t mind telling you that this double-dose week has well and truly kicked my butt. Luckily, I found a whole new season of the Great British Baking Show to binge. I love that show. Nothing bad happens. The contestants help each other out. Drama is generated by watching things bake. They say “puff pastry” in reverential tones (and I won’t even get into “rough puff”). I am saving the final for later today. Everyone will cry and congratulate everyone else, and then have a nice cup of tea.

In the interest of continuing to report with reasonable candor, I will share that I started experiencing a potentially serious chemo side-effect this week – peripheral neuropathy. That’s tingling and numbness in fingers and feet. Worst case, it can progress to significant pain or paralysis; and it can be temporary or permanent. I have gotten some freezer-gloves and -socks to wear during chemo to minimize escalation. The cold restricts blood flow to the affected areas, and is reported to work; or at least it can’t hurt, so why not. But my eyes are on the prize: Kill the cancer, manage the side effects.

And speaking of killing the cancer, I had a CAT scan late last week, and — oh the relief! — the chemo is definitely working. We’re not there yet, but it’s working! Also, medical science has made great strides in the barium you have to drink beforehand. It used to be pretty nasty stuff. This time, I debated among four flavors, chose the chilled mocha, and it was delightfully refreshing.

Thank you for continuing to share this chapter of my life with me. Truly, it makes a world of difference.