Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Waxings of a cancer patient...

Sorry for the no-update yesterday! It's amazing when you're doing nothing how quickly time gets away from you.

The jaw pain & muscle aches are better. Tylenol is doing the trick with the jaw. I knew I read this somewhere, but apparently the vinblastine causes jaw pain. I chatted with the triage nurse yesterday and she confirmed it. It affects the cranial nerve, which can cause jaw pain and parotid (salivary) gland pain. Bingo! The more you know, right?

Um, other than that, not much else going on. The 7-day countdown begins to my next chemo, which is a week from today. Other than my fingers being all tingly right now and some achiness, I don't really feel too bad. I don't know if I'm not getting that nauseated or if the meds are working because I don't feel that sick, either.

I chatted with my advisor yesterday. He is a good person, and a fantastic academic advisor. He has seen me through many a crisis since I have attended the university, from moving to the cities to scheduling snafus. I wanted his advice on whether or not I should attend school spring semester. I have been having my doubts. Don't get me wrong, PLEASE don't get me wrong, it's not that the motivation or drive aren't there. It has more to do with the fact that I am trying to come to grips with reality and realize that it may be completely impossible to keep up with academic demands in between doctor visits, all day infusion room appointments with the ensuing rest and recovery, and those days when I feel lousy. I don't want to commit myself to school, and then be unable to fulfill my committment. It would be futile and serve to disappoint me further. My advisor (Doug) echoed this sentiment. His wife had breast cancer 15 years ago, and he saw first hand how treatment can affect a hardworking person. She had the drive, she had the determination, but at the end of the day, her body just did not have the same drive. I fear that I would be placed in just that situation. I'm still thinking it over, but I think that it may be best if I take the semester off. I don't want to--as many of you know already, I have had a lot of setbacks in my chase--but my health is important. I do have the option of doing my thesis instead--a few thesis credits to keep me as a registered student, and to keep me occupied. I think I will think it over this weekend. It's a huge decision.

Okay, well, off to the wonderful world of physics I go.

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