Adam's Story: The Second Round of Chemo
So, I had this thing all typed up, saved, and ready to go a few days ago. Needless to say, it got lost in cyberworld, my other draft was deleted, and I have been behind on so many other things this week that this one is a little late. I apologize and will get them back up and ready to go for the beginning of each week.
Here is where we stand now. I am mostly through my second round, and let me tell you, it was a doozy. My chemotherapy plan is one of the most, if not the most, chemically intensive programs anyone can get. They decided to treat my cancer as aggressively as possible and it does take its toll.
So, on that note, here is my schedule. The first week of the cycle I go in and get two drugs every day, plus premeds, plus steroids. The sessions last about six hours from start to finish and for extra fun on Tuesday, I get another third drug. That goes on for five days. Then, I have until next Tuesday to "recover." It's not really a recovery, though, because I am so amped up on medicine all the time I cannot seem to find any time to sleep. Well, I find the time, it is just that I can't. Then the next two weeks I get the drug that I only get on Tuesdays, along with bloodwork and my checkup to see that I am not dying, so those weeks are a little easier on me as a whole. By about Thursday of the second week, I feel about to myself again.
The first week is probably the most mentally straining thing I have ever went through in my life. This is coming from someone who diets and sweats off over thirty pounds a wrestling season to make weight. Chemo beats that in terms of a grind. I can never fall into a sound sleep, I have to pee all the time, everything smells like burning rubber, and I have much less of an appetite. I lose about fifteen pounds through that first week.
To put into perspective of how bombarded I get with these drugs, I can turn bath water blue twice after chemo. No matter how many times I seem to shower or bathe a day, that smell is always around. Yhat may be the worst part.
The second and third weeks, which are the same thing, are not as bad. I do have to get white blood cell booster shots during those weeks and as a consolation to the long week, my body only feels like it was beaten with a baseball bat. It feels like you have the flu without the nausea, fortunately I have not gotten sick from this yet.
To be honest, after going through about half of my scheduled chemotherapy, and with another major surgery looming ahead, I look at this and honestly wonder why anyone would do anything to put themselves through such a hardship. I have done a lot of things that have been worth a lot of things, but nothing I ever did in my lifetime could prepare me for this fight. Not even being the nation's top wrestler in high school. Not two reconstructive surgeries. Nothing. So, upon pondering what smoking does to the risk of getting cancer, along with dipping, it really is not worth it. I can swear to that, and I never smoked. I am going through what could be the result though.
To end this on a positive note, my progress is coming pretty good. My tumor marker in my blood has dropped from 14,000 to 20. At two it is considered clinically dead. I have lost all of my hair, some weight, half of my red blood cells, and a good bit of white ones too. I apparently have two more cycles to look forward to, along with blood transfusions and a surgery that consists of an eight inch incision through my abdomen. But, it is under control and I am going to live to fight another day. The doctors even said that I will make a full recovery and be ready to compete again in the fall of 2009. That is a long way off, but it is what I really am beginning to miss throughout this whole thing. I am excited to be able to have the opportunity to compete.