Monday, December 12, 2005

November 23, 2005 - Things to Come

Today I am reading Dancing At the Edge of Life, a 1998 memoir by a lymphoma patient named Gale Warner. Her story, like mine, also began with an unexplained mass inside her torso – although in her case, it was located up near the shoulder blade, rather than in the abdomen. She eventually died from her disease.

I find Gale's story to be of compelling interest – particularly her graphic descriptions of chemotherapy and its side effects. I keep telling myself, as I read, that Gale underwent her chemotherapy treatments in the mid-1990s – eons ago, in the rapidly-developing cancer-treatment field. Yet I expect that many of the side-effects are still the same. I particularly remember her descriptions of how many hours it takes to receive chemo, and how fatigue and mental fogginess are common side-effects. Chemotherapy, she says, crowds out nearly everything else in life, during those long hours of sitting in a recliner in the treatment center, while poison drips into the veins.

Given my rapidly-emerging, existential interest in this subject – even at this early stage, before my diagnosis is even confirmed – I can relate to her perspective.

Chemotherapy. Is there any way to get ready for it?

No comments: