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Afinitor Chronicles, Ch. 2, Cont.

Posted May 07 2010 12:00am
It is Friday night. The end of week three getting acquainted with the Big A and is it a tumultous honeymoon.

In an earlier post I commented that the SE's were slow incoming. That did not sit well with Glenda and me as we wanted to see something going on. Something to indicate things were happening inside this old body of mine and maybe, just maybe the bad old cancer was being killed off by this new weapon of cancer destruction (WCD). We are of the opinion that if one is not getting sick then the med isn't doing its job.

Things were going very, very well. No SE's at all.That's right, a-t a-l-l. This perplexed us.

Then, on Monday, after we went to the See's Candy store across town, I asked Glenda to look at my back. It became noticable in the shower when I washed my back. Felt like I had a sensitive zit back there and it was a little tender when I dried off. So, I asked Glenda to look at it.

I raised my shirt and she said, "Oh my gosh. You have bumps all over." There was an evident smile on her face at this discovery. You'd a thought she won $5 on a scratch off ticket.

"They look like measles Hun."

"Is it bad?" I asked. After waiting this long I wanted something to brag about.

"No." I was disappointed. "But it's all over your back."

Okay, I could live with that.

Later in the day, we went to see Doc Benzor for the results of the labs and the x-ray. I have bronchitis with a touch of pleurisy. Had to look that one up so I could write about it and sound like I know what I'm talking about.

Pleurisy hurts when you breathe.

That's all that really matters when you draw in a chest full and feel like somebody stuck an ice pick into your lung and then, you have to cough because the bronchitis makes it hard to breathe.

Doc Benzor also said the lung met showed up in the picture. The met is 1.2 x 1.3 cm in size. Mom almost cried when I told her that. I spent several minutes reassuring her that I am fine and the met is no bigger than it was on the last scan. That got her thanking Jesus and every angel in heaven she could think of. I pictured her crossing herself like mad.

If she had holy water she would have thrown it at the phone.

But that's Mom. She'll feel better once she sees her baby walk up onto the stage at the commencement next month and get his degree. I plan to face the crowd and raise my arm in true Rocky fashion.

As I was saying. the other side effects have arrived, and they brought luggage.

Fatigue kept me in the recliner most of the day yesterday. The cough had me hacking and spouting and I kept thinking that kicking back is not good for the lungs. I needed to get up and walk around to help clear them. My energy was for crap so it took most of what I had to stand up and walk around. But I did it.

I drove to a Carl's Jr. to get a burger and the looks I got from the customers were less than pleasant. I must have looked real sick because I smiled at a baby in a stroller just as a cough ripped loose. The dad moved back. Others looked to see what the awful squeaking sound was. I looked around to see what the sound was.

It was that bad.

I am breaking out in bumps on my scalp. They don't itch but I can feel them and I have to stop myself from scratching them. Got a few on my face too. Makes me feel young again.

But, the worst is my eyes. They are as blood shot as a drunken sailor's. And they hurt.

It hurt to look around and so, I had to keep them closed most of the day. Cold water eased it a little but not entirely.

"Oh God," I prayed. "Not my eyes. I so like looking at pretty girls and stuff like that. Please don't strike me blind"

I guess He heard me and took pity on me because this morning I felt much better. The eyes still hurt a little only now it's more like a small soreness. God must be telling me something.

"Don't look too hard Son, or I'll make you real sorry."

The lump on my jaw is going to come out. Tuesday I saw the ENT specialist. He wants to remove it so as not to give the Beast a chance to spread there. We talked with DR. T Wednesday and he agreed it is probably a good idea so it can be analyzed for cancer.

We talked with Dr. T about freezing the lung mets and the enlarged lymph nodes. He said he's never heard of a lung met being frozen. They're usually removed surgically. We discussed our options and decided to stay the course until the next scan in June.

If we see shrinkage, we will stay on the Afinitor. If there is growth, we will change to another med. I reminded Dr. T I want the things removed. Yeah I know doing so is a major operation but it's the surest way to keep the cancer from spreading. He reiterated that surgery should always be the last resort.

I now have three enlarged lymph nodes. And he wants to keep attacking the cancer with meds. As long as they keep the cancer at bay we are fine.

My friend Paul was happy I decided to keep the bike. He was actually sad at the idea of my giving it up and told me he had no plans to ride it. He was going to store it in his garage until I asked to take it back. What a guy.

I look forward to short rides once my lungs are better. And Paul plans to get his own bike so we can ride together.

I am thinking of college. I just want to be able to attend my classes and eventually get that BS degree at UC Riverside in 2014. It's something to work for but if I don't achieve that goal, at least I will have tried.

Death is always in the back of my mind but I think of it as something that could only interrupt my long term plans. Like a pot simmering on low on the back burner. Meanwhile, life with kidney cancer goes on and I will keep moving forward.
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