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Chemo 19.0

As I reflect back over the last 19 rounds of chemo, I think it is ironic that it is not cancer that has impacted my life, but chemotherapy. In fact, apart from the bowel obstruction that I had almost two years ago, the actual cancer has otherwise been a background player in terms of day to day impact. Chemotherapy on the other had, is slowly wearing my body down. The fact that I currently hold my oncologist’s record for the particular regime of chemo at 19 rounds, is a testament to how much a body (when it is young) can take.

… but it is taking it’s toll on me.

I have much less hair that I once used to have, and it is constantly shedding. I have put on weight, at an all time high, largely due to the side-effects of the medication to treat the nausea. I have aged, I look considerable older now that I did a year ago. My skin has dried out and is peeling in many places. The diarrhoea is almost continuous between rounds of chemotherapy. I am at an all time fitness trough, trying to stay fit, alongside chemotherapy and medical school is close to impossible (and with all fairness, I wasn’t that good at it to start with). And finally, there are cognitive effects which slow my mind, and can be frustrating.

If it wasn’t for chemotherapy, my life would be normal.

Except that if it wasn’t for chemotherapy, my life would probably be over.

Its a painful, but necessary tradeoff.

Therefore, round 19 is done and dusted, and round 20 is next. That which destroys me is also that which keeps me alive.

Till next time….

Categories: Cancer Update Tags: ,
  1. Jaime
    October 19, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    you really are an inspiration Jared Noel!!

    • Jared
      October 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm

      haha.. I don’t feel like it.. πŸ™‚

  2. Gail
    October 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Jared we know exactly where you are coming from. My husband has stage 4 bowel cancer with mets in liver and fluid in peitoneuim with nodules. He has had six months of fortnightly Folfox and Avistan, followed by six months of Xeloda and Avistan and is now on his 3rd fortnightly infusion of Foliri and Avistan and his CEA count is on the rise currently 114.Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. Take care and love the people around you.

    • Jared
      October 19, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about that. I gather that you are not NZ based if you have access to Avastin? it is not funded in NZ unfortunately. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband as you deal with this devastating illness.

      • Gail
        October 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

        Thanks Jared.We are from Western Australia where Avistan only came on the funding list a month before my husband was diagnosed.I think it is so unfair that depending on where you live only some treatments are available (at least we are not in a third world country where we may not have had access to any chemo) I hope people in New Zealand are lobbying the government for funding for Avistan.

  3. jess :)
    October 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    this seems a little out of place next to the above comments, but some of what you’re saying sounds very familiar…are you sure you haven’t run out of thoughts and are now quoting movies??

    apart from that, just a reassuring thought I had – you are probably the most engaging, magnetic (and therefore fully attractive) sick person I know:)

  4. jess :)
    October 19, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    o and i’d recommend stealing some of hannah’s skin creams (the night ones generally work well)

  5. October 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Yep! Know the feeling. Holding the tensions is what it seems to be about.

  6. gaye alexander
    October 20, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Hi Jared- Wow, just happened to see you on Good Morning and have since found your blog. My first thoughts are…I see you as a survivor and do believe this journey you are on is in fact part of the bigger picture, and you are the messenger. I say this as I have a son who was diagnosed @13 with stage 3 osteosarcoma. Fast forward to 2010 and he just turned 21 in May, is VP of Canteen NZ and as I predicted back in 2002 when he asked if he was going to die and I said “no I dont believe so- this will determine the person you will become”- survivorship can and will be yours too.Chemo is tough, but if you can keep fuelling your body with good food, fuel your spirit with love and lots of laughter, drink Coke for the nausea- and also the anti nausea wristbands from the Chemist helped We also invested in Mangosteen Juice (tastes like Ribena)and is available in NZ- google it for your nearest distributor. My son was on prayer lists here and overseas and everyday we thanked God for destroying the cancer cells.Back and shoulder massage should be a daily tonic. I see someone like you who is so highly intelligent, articulate and
    and a super nice guy- you just need your miracle- and I believe it will happen. Claim what is yours- your future and a well body. LIVESTRONG JARED, LIVESTRONG.I have a Livestrong Folder from the Lance Armstrong Foundation which I would like to send to you. As it says- knowledge is power and attitude is everything, so you’re already half way there. Best wishes. P.S.Your photography is great-

    • Jared
      October 26, 2010 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks for your encouragement. πŸ™‚

  7. Debbie
    October 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Go you good thing!!! I think what you have achieved despite the odds is phenomenal. Keep up the good work Jared!!!

  8. Murray
    October 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Hi Jared… you are amazing fella, at times I look at my life and find it hard bringing up 3 children for the most part on my own but then I reflect on things that you write on your blog and think how selfish I am in many ways,I also look at others and their pursuit of $$$$’s and fame etc, all those things pale away into complete insignificance when one looks at the value of people in your life. I have come to appreciate my children more and more as they get older, Logan 16 Tamsyn 11 and Xavier almost 6. They have been a joy to me and I often thank God nowadays for allowing me to bring up another part of his wonderful creations. It is always strange when they are not around as the joy , laughter , happiness or the other extremes occassionally of sadness, tears etc are not heard in the midst of their home. You are an inspiration to many and it is sad as someone said to me the other day about, why do the good people die? what can one say, I guess it is like life has been over the centuries for everyone, there are no gaurantees that you will not get sick, I am sure the next stage will be so much better! Working in the industry that I am in, I see much of what you might say the darker side of life and yet some of the clients if I can call them that often live to a ripe old age and yet as a colleauge said to me it just does not seem fair. I guess if life was fair what legacy can be left for others and I guess we are all used by God in various ways, you are simply an inspiration in all that you do, God bless you bro

    • Jared
      October 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Its always nice to hear feedback from others. Hopefully I’ll be back out at NG before the end of the year, if Tony gets round to confirming some dates with me πŸ™‚

  9. Maree
    November 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Hey Jared,

    Hope your medical team to prescribe a cream for your skin which will help you.
    Thanks for letting us know when your chemo treatments are scheduled so that we can be praying for you. Mx

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