Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Week 3 -Done! Week 4? "Hair" we go....

Tonight is the end of Week 3. This morning I was introduced to the next phase when a clump of hair came out in my hand. It's still not entirely clear what the final result will look like, but this clump came from the backside, the radiation exit hole from the beam shot from the front above my eyes. It's kinda like the clumps that come out of Chana, only not as soft and cute.

Today I met with my radiation oncologist, and she thinks that nobody's finger would be small enough to stick into the hole shown in my skull by the x-ray picture. She says that the strength of the attachment of the bone plate is almost as strong as it was originally, but that I should still wear helmets if I ever get back into kayaking or mountain biking. Well...she actually said "I thought you stopped mountain biking - I should probably tell you not to. But if it's something that makes you happy then it's safe enough." Or something like that. Sorry mom, but once I get through the treatment, I'm going back to it.

I'm definitely noticing the increasing fatigue as the treatment moves on, and I'm so over it by now. Until I think about how much worse it could be and how miserable life could become if I were offered something far worse. I even learned today how my nephew got Hand, Foot, & Mouth disease, and for a week has been locked into complete wretchedness! I'm certain his physical feelings right now crush mine. So that leaves the psychological torment. Within a week or two, without any treatment necessary, he will return to a normal life (if you can think of my nephew as normal). Mentally, my situation falls a bit short in that category.

One of the things that tapped deeply to my core today was the announcement of the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. When a man dies from complications relating to the same disease, it's natural to reflect upon the accomplishments of their lives and to project your own. With Ted Kennedy, if I could contribute only a fraction of a fraction of his immense public service I would still be content. My friend "AE's" comments to me generated a mixture of tears and laughter. "Kennedy said it like it was, a real force. An inspiration on many fronts. You're doing damn well on your journey EA, but take a queue from Ted and don't run for president... :-)" I guess when we leave, we should leave them wanting more...and it seems like my hair feels that way now too.

Side note: I did get another MRI this afternoon, but won't know the results until the next day or so. Hopefully it shows that the treatment is generally working well. I'll fill y'all in on that once I hear. I'll also give an update on why I can no longer tell if I'm hungry or nauseous.


  1. As of this morning, you are officially 'over the hump'! I've been thinking of you nonstop and sending whatever good juju I've accumulated your way, keep staying easy on yourself. You, too, contribute much to the world, just not as publicly as Tedd did. And anyway, I'm confident you're going to have decades to continue. ... (and obssess about that next decision ;-) ) Love you, xxoo W.

  2. Oh Yes - absolutely. And as long as you keep "doing" (and wearing a helmut) - I'll worry quietly. Love 'ya

  3. I've always been impressed by the way you make time to volunteer, and for so many causes, too.

  4. Hi there-
    Sorry to have been out of the loop but we're back in town now. I'll have pockets of time on Tues/Thurs/Fri either with or without kiddies in tow, so let me know when you'd like a visit!

  5. Although I loved the man, if you had the political family "in" of being a Kennedy, I'm sure your accomplishments would have dwarfed his by now - your energy and commitment to volunteer and be political have always amazed me. Anyway - remember that you have youth, wim, and vigor on your side - what is wim anyway? You will beat this!
    RE: tiredness - I'm sure you've been told that this occurs ... folks I know hated radiation more than anything. Hang in there - it will get better.
    On another note, this adds a whole new element to the "discussions" of what helmet is best in kayaking - I'll have to start it up on the GCP list :) xo

  6. Also - like I said before I like your "gangster" look of baldness MIDWEST!