52 Pokes in Six Months

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As mentioned before, I completed my six months of chemotherapy. It’s a welcomed relief and now I have a less of worry of all my hair falling out. Some has, of course, fallen out. But it’s good to have extra baseball caps. Actually, I’m just kidding, it’s OK and I’m doing just fine.

 

One of the biggest problems about chemo, as you going to be there for about two hours, is the potential for extreme boredom. You need a good book, a set of headphones attached to something (MP3 player, CD player, etc.), and your imagination in case you forgot your book or your batteries have run down.

 

I found myself in just this situation a few weeks ago. No book, no music. Just me and my head and my imagination.

 

So I started to count the number of times they poked me with a needle, just so I could write about it (like now).

 

Here is the break-down:

 

One prick of a finger to get a blood test (OK, this is a prick and not really a poke. But if I was to write “52 Pricks in 6 Months”, it would probably have a negative connotation.)

 

24 Chemo Appointments

 

1 Needle prick per Appointment = 24

 

Now they do have to stick a needle in you to deliver the yucky chemo.

 

1 Needle insertion per Appointment = 24

 

And there were three times in which they had to remove the needle and find a better vein (I do have thin veins)

 

3 Needle insertion Re-dos = 3

 

So we have 24+24+3= 51 needle pokes and pricks.

 

And what about number 52?

 

Well, in three weeks I have to go for a final blood test. Which makes is 51+1=52

 

I’m tired of needles and pricks. But I really can’t complain. The sun is out, it’s warm outside, I got enough sleep last night, and eating a semi-healthy burrito as I type.

 

I’ll be out for this weekend, doing all my favorite things; cycling, walking (at least until I can get my strength back to running), playing board games, and writing.

 

You have fun this weekend!

 

 

Rob

Having someone to love (and that includes you)

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all my friends.

Some of you have been part of my life for years. Some have been part of my life for decades. Some are readers of this blog. Some I have spent treasured time with. Some have helped me in the past. Some are helping me in this current tough spot in my life. Many of you fall into more than one category.  And I love you all!

 

Love the people you are with. Or if no one special, then love yourself, because you are special.

 

I will be finishing up my chemo therapy later this morning. I have finished. That is a great relief, a small gift from the gods. Please note that I spelled gods, with a small “g”. It’s not because I am trying to emulate e.e. cummings. It’s just that I believe in other gods than most. My gods are sweet, wonderful people. Now that I have thought about it, maybe I should capitalize the “g”.

 

One of my friends (actually a Goddess) gave me a small wooden box for Valentine’s Day. The box contains small painted dragons, a chocolate bar, a nice photo, written compliments for me to read (if I ever forget what positive qualities I possess), and some other sweet things (other than the chocolate). One nice touch – on the inside lid, there is a green felt lining with the words “Left Handed Dragon” (the title of my blog, just in case you forgot.

 

I will place my thoughts and ideas in this box.

 

I do have a number of written thoughts to add to my blog, which will begin once this chemo has ended (and a couple of days to recover).

 

Thank you in who have helped in this difficult time. Love you all!

 

Have fun today. Enjoy this day in fullest appreciation. Make someone happy, even if it just you.

 

 

Rob

 

Keeping my spirits up! =)

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HERE COMES THE SUN

 

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
It’s all right

Lyrics by George Harrison and recorded by the Beatles.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgiQD56eWDk

 

 

A New Year

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This is squeamish. Do not read if you are allergic to pain or have algophobia.

Chemotherapy is messy, uncomfortable, and you sit in a room with other people, many who are worse off than you are.
Essentially, they take your vitals, take some blood for testing, give you a doctor visit, and then put a needle in you for about 2 hours. After which you have an upset stomach that borders on nausea, and since they put Benadryl in the chemo solution (used to treat nausea, vomiting and to keep you calm during the treatment), you can’t drive a car and you need at least a two hour nap. Two serious after-effects: one is the vein that delivers the poison is frequently damaged and second is the horrible stench of the chemo solution can stay in your body for at least 24 hours.

 

They divide the chemo treatments into any number of six week sessions, with the last treatment being the worst as your body, with the damaged veins, hair loss, loss of appetite and the use of your taste buds, and overall fatigue, actually needs to recover. So they give you a week without chemo between each session. Which allows you to have a semi-normal life.
Last month I mentioned that I only had three more treatments left for my chemotherapy. I was fearing my last session as it is always the worst and I and my body were on the verge of a nervous breakdown (it is that bad). And I was counting down the weeks, knowing that at least it would be over by New Year’s and 2018 would look better than this past year.
When I got to the doctor’s office last week to begin my last treatment, I would told that it was not my last; I had one more long six week session to go through. The three treatments I was told had I left was just the last three of the particular session.

 

I just broke down and cried. And cried even more when they poked the vein in my right hand and they could not use it because of the damage to the vein.

 

So they poked in my left hand (I’m left-handed by the way) and transferred the chemo solution to the new needle. And the left the old needle in my right hand in case they needed to transfer back.
I could not use either of my hands. Could not even read. I just cried for about an hour and must have fallen asleep. I got a ride home (A plug here -> thank you to the ACS – American Cancer Society, for providing the rides!)
Getting home was a relief but I felt miserable for at least another day. I also felt something I usually don’t feel; despair. I could not think, or at least not think logically. Rational thoughts could not enter my mind. Just fear, anxiety, loneliness, and acute isolation.
It took me some time to get over it. What really help was recalling some inspirational thoughts during other tough times.
Like,
“It is not how man dies that determines his worth, but how he lives”.
I take this meaning as the desire, and the need, to be being honest, supporting other people who have it worse than I do (generally meaning protecting people from the evils of bigotry, ignorance, arrogance, and fears and other maladies that are transferred to minorities and people who are just born differently than most). I stand up for them.

 

I have a higher IQ than most people and mostly healthy body. Which means I don’t have an excuse not to help.

 

I like to think I have a good sense of humor. And I use both to keep motivate and to defend myself and others.

 

“You only have a limited time to be alive. What are you going to do in this limited time period?”

 

I am an atheist, so there are no second chances at life, no afterlife to correct wrongdoings, no divine intervention to help us limited and vulnerable human beings.

 

I could stay in a state of self-pity. But that would be a waste of my life and of precious time. Plus I would be miserable. And I don’t like misery. So let’s get better in health and outlook.

 

I wish everyone who is reading this blog (and that includes you) a Happy New Year’s and please have the courage to stand up to the Carrot Top (who sometime lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) and the policies (legislative, religious, etc.) that hurt people, both common and the different.

 

Alive, Alert and Active

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Sorry for all the missing posts!

 

But I am still alive, alert, active, and learning how to enjoy life once again.

 

I’ve been writing some chess books during my time off (AKA Disability).

 

Today I went with a friend to shoot some photos for an idea I had for a cover. But when I got home I found something wrong with the photo. I’ll let you figure it out! 😉

 

I need to get ready for two special days in December; Christmas and my birthday. And having a larger ego, I am not sure which one I like better.

 

Don’t forget to have fun! =)

 

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

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Love your

 

Parents (who suffered your terrible twos, terrific tantrums, and the times you were less than stellar),

 

Families (you may have more than one)

 

Friends (they chose YOU!),

 

Pets (who are always there for you)

 

Doctors (who made you healthier),

 

Lawyers (hey, they need recognition too),

 

and everyone else who made life a little more enjoyable for you! 😉