My Cancer Story

Cycle 4 … This one feels harder

Posted 22 January 2016

This week I did my fourth chemo cycle. After 10 days of feeling pretty darned good after the end of cycle three, it has been hard to be so knocked down again.

I had a one-day reprieve thanks to Martin Luther King, as the office was closed for the holiday, and my infusion day was Tuesday.

On Monday, I had coffee with a friend, walked more than a mile around town, and still felt pretty good at the end of the day.

Tuesday started out ok, arriving at the oncology office and settling in for my four hours or so of drug infusions.

It doesn’t take long for my body to begin reacting to the meds, but it hard to describe. Just sitting in the chair, it isn’t too bad. The day definitely has its unpleasantness, but the people are actually very nice, and I’m able to use my various devices for diversion.

At the end of the four hours, during which I’ve received infusions of anti-nausea meds and four chemo drugs, I’m left with a little portable pump that continues delivering the last drug, fluorouracil, into my port for 46 hours.

On day two, I’m just hanging out, and on day three, I get to go in and have the pump removed in the early afternoon.

I haven’t had intense side effects, like throwing up or even strong nausea, just a lot of moderate queasiness. But it totally knocks the energy out of me. Mentally, I still have a lot of energy, by physically, I’m back to minimum movement being my goal.

It is hard to think about what I’m actually doing to my body. Reading the drug literature for chemo drugs is terrifying. Going in and doing it again and again, every two weeks, starts to feel sort of crazy.

One bright spot is that I have tapered entirely off my pain meds, and have virtually no pain.

Today was my first day after cycle 4, and I’m perking up a bit. Looking forward to a good weekend!


patty dollive

Dear Michael, You are one brave man! And even tho’ I have been following your progress through Irene’s posts, it is a very potent experience to read this in your own words. I admit, I am in tears. I ALSO admit that some of these are tears of hope and joy. Whatever you may feel or believe on the spiritual level, please know that you –and Irene and Gregory and Amanda–are all in my prayers. And I am praying for the miracle. And sending love. Your wife is one of my best friends in the world. You are, by extension, my admired friend. I am suddenly without words! Maybe there are none. I just hope to keep reading…!

Kent Jenkins

Michael, I am delighted to be considered your friend and honored that you choose to spend some of your precious time with me.

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