This post is a little delayed largely due to two things, distraction by the tragedy in Christchurch, and long work hours.
Round 26 was yet another onslaught of Chemotherapy. This time it was compounded by the fact that between round 25 and 26, I was unwell for about 7 days with a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Interestingly the cold was quick to hit (in a matter of hours) and slow to resolve. I imagine this reflects the fact that chemo is immunosuppressive, and my body just doesn’t have the reserve to mount as effective a response to infection that it once did. Although technically my white cells and neutrophil count were not down, I think it is fair to say that mobilization of lymphocytes and immunoglobulin production are impaired in the presence of DNA disruptive chemotherapy agents.
All of this added up to getting three days of work before being taken out of action for the week leading up to round 26. I never had a well period in between rounds, and subsequently entered 26 feeling pretty average and very exhausted. I am now enjoying the 26-27 hiatus, feeling back to my normal self.
Beyond that, chemo was as homogenous as the previous rounds, with the same set of side effects I usually get. I was however, flattened with incessant hiccuping on Saturday, which I haven’t had since early last year. Hiccuping for hours on end is not the most pleasant of experiences. It is hard to say what the variable is that brought them back this round, so hopefully they stay away.
Until next time…
I got a new lens. A canon EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM bad boy. I picked it up on monday, and it was a rainy day when I was playing with it. Then Tuesday happened with all of it’s tragedy, followed by a 15 hour working day on wednesday, so there hasn’t been much playing since. This weekend Hannah and I are heading out of town for a break, it’s our only free weekend between now and May sometime, So I plan on playing with it a lot while I am away.
It has take me awhile to save for this, cos I decided that I would only put money towards it from selling photos and any locum shifts I pick up. I feel more complete as a person now that I have it.
1. Shutter 1/30, f/4, ISO 200, 17mm
2. Shutter 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 200, 55mm.
I recently had to do a presentation at work on a patient, for which I decided to present myself, since I had a semi-interesting presentation. This meant that I was able to get hold of my abdominal x-rays from when I first presented back in 2008.
The first is what was taken when I first arrived at hospital. There isnt too much to see on it, it was considered fairly non-specific in terms of findings, and as such, illicited conservative treatment.
Then there are the three x-rays taken 2 days later, when I was significant worse from a clinical perspective. These x-rays show some large loops of dilated small bowel on the supine, and air-fluid levels on the erect. All signs of a bowel obstruction, and as such I was taken to theatre within about 4 hours of these pictures being taken.
The rest is history.
The quarter century.
Can you believe that 25 rounds of chemotherapy have come and gone in the last 14 months? Whilst much of it has disappeared into some sort of twisted routine, I am also pretty tired. The idea of indefininate chemotherapy until either toxicity or progression seems exhausting. It is almost impossible to imagine a second 25 rounds in my future, meaning that surely, I must be past the half way mark. The problem is though, if I am past halfway, I am also much closer to the end of it all. An outcome that neither Hannah or myself exactly look forward to.
This round was fairly typical of previous rounds. The same side effects, the same struggles, the same recovery. Arguably it may have been better than the round previous.
I’d also like to thank everyone for the feedback that they have given me after my talk at Parachute Music Festival. It has been overwhelmingly positive. I’m sure there is a certain percentage of it that is purely sympathetic, however, it is also rewarding to hear how my story of suffering has somehow impacted peoples lives for the better.
Till next round…
Yep, it turns out someone recorded me at Parachute Music festival and put me on a CD. I have managed to get a copy of it and am sharing it here for those of you who would like to hear it.
The event saw a completely packed out venue, with a guestimation of around 400 people there, and standing room only at the back. There were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd, with a few of you I hadn’t seen in a while. I have to say, that overall, the response was overwhelmingly positive. I was blown away at how my story of suffering can be a source of inspiration to many. There has to be a fairly large component of irony in that. Its the feed back that I get, of lives being changed that makes this all the worth while for me.
So here is the talk, its 50min long, so listen to it when you have some time. It is also strongly faith based, and meant for a faith based audience.