Treatment No. 10

Went for chemo today, and honestly, it was probably the most relaxing  day that I’ve had for awhile. Got a complementary neck and foot massage and then dozed during most of chemo until a friend showed up with lunch. AfterI came home, I slept most of the afternoon away and my big evening outing was showing up for Kat’s final event at a K-Central track meet.

I also had a chance to meet with my doctor today. Told him that many of my side effects — dry mouth, foot blisters, etc. — have subsided since I stopped the Eloxatin as part of my chemo cocktail. He said he wasn’t surprised — between a quarter and a third of his patients stop Eloxatin partway through because of the side effects.  While it’s effective in fighting cancer, he said, it’s a harsh drug.

At any rate, he said I was doing as well as could be expected. After my final two treatments, I’ll see him every three months for the next few years and, in particular, they’ll be keeping a close eye on blood tests showing my liver function — that’s that place where colon cancer is most likely to reappear. (Dr. Vermuri said that in his 30 years of treating cancer, he’s never seen colon cancer actually reappear in the colon.) Right now, my liver and kidney function seems to be “perfect.” In fact, my entire blood screen today was in normal ranges — apparently, it was the Eloxatin that was throwing off my white-blood-cell and platelet count.

Tomorrow, I give a speech on education at the Portage Rotary.  My bigger worry is Friday: Because my chemo was Tuesday, Friday likely will be the day that I crash and I figured I’d probably take the day off work.

BUT Kalamazoo Central happens to be one of six finalists to have Obama speak at their June commencement. (This is particularly exciting because Kat is part of the that class, and Marcia’s twins are, too.) Monday, I found out that Friday is the day that the White House will cull the field to three finalists, so that means I’ll be writing a Page 1 story, win or lose. What makes it worse is that the White House has given no indication of what time that announcement will come. Also, Kat has a track meet in Jackson on Friday night, which I typically attend with my parents and Colleen’s family, but I don’t know that I’ll be going this year.

Incidentally, the Obama thing involves a public online vote until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, so any out-of-town friends and relatives who want to give us a boost, go online to www.whitehouse.gov/commencement and rate the K-Central video as a “5.”

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