Apr 26

Final Chemo

Friday, 4-26-02, and yesterday I had my 6th and final chemo treatment. At least, until this bugger comes back, which won’t be for lots of years (fingers crossed!)!!

I woke about 5:45 AM, showered, shaved, got everything ready to go and then played online till mom picked me up for the ride out to Ann Arbor at 7:30. It was a sunny morning and traffic was flowing smoothly in the direction we were headed.

We stopped off at McDonalds for a little something, and I had a sausage McMuffin with egg and some hash browns. They’re not as good as the ones I make at home (IMHO), but they’ll do!

My appointment with the doc was for 9:15, but I always have to get a blood draw before that, so we have to get there a little early. We got there about 8:45 and I got through the blood draw area in just a few minutes, no fuss, no muss. I was the only patient there at the time.

Next, on to the doc’s waiting room. Two new faces were there behind the window in the recently renovated office, neither of which I recognized. They didn’t know me either, so when I told them I was there, they just pointed to the clipboard outside the window and told me to sign in, so I did, and had a seat to wait.

A little while later, two doors slid slowly apart from each other like something out of a suspenseful science fiction movie, and a familiar face was standing there between them, beckoning me in. There was something really mad-scientist funny about it to me – I can’t really put my finger on what, but I had a good laugh over it and had to explain to the nurse that I wasn’t laughing at her, but at the doors that reminded me of something out of the Adam’s Family or something! I half expected Lurch to be standing there asking, “You rang?”

Got weighed (picked up 7 more pounds in 3 weeks). This chemo weight loss program, like the chemo hair loss program, just ain’t working for me! I’m up to almost 200 pounds again! I know it’s all this time I spend sitting and sleeping lately, and yeah… I feel guilty about it. Just not guilty enough to do anything about it yet! I miss going to the office and running and pacing 100 MPH getting things done. It’s just not the same being stuck in the house all day making cartoons on my computer.

On to the exam room, where I got my blood pressure and pulse taken, which were fine, then the doc came in and I presented him with the newest toons I’d made. He started to go through them and had a few chuckles, but there were 14 this time, so he said he’d get to the rest later and thanked me for them.

We went through the regular question and answer period, and everything on both sides was hunky-dory, then I pulled off my shirt and climbed up on the exam table for the “feeling of the nodes” and some deep breathing while he listened with a stethoscope. Nothing new there either; no lumps, no bumps, no concerns. No news is good news when it comes to that! The blood work looked good too, so everything is looking pretty good overall.

We talked about the future while he wrote out the special orders for the day’s chemo prescription. We’ll do a bone marrow biopsy on May 22nd, then a CAT scan on May 30th and he’ll get all the info together and I’ll see him on D-day, the 6th of June, to get the answer on how well all of this treatment worked towards a remission.

After that, we’ll monitor it every few months with visits and tests, watching for signs of it’s return and, of course, hoping there are none. At least, not for a long while.

I still have to go in once a week for a blood draw to monitor the Coumadin levels till this blood clot in my leg is altogether gone, but that’s no big deal as far as I’m concerned. I’m still limping a bit, but it doesn’t really hurt… it just feels kinda weak. It feels best when I’ve got it elevated, so I do that a lot. I even have a foot stool under my computer desk.

On to the chemo treatment area and I didn’t have to wait long before I was in one of the big, comfy chairs by the window with a hot towel on my hand and wrist to get the veins-a-poppin’ to make the IV insertion easier. I gave the chemo staff a copy of the latest toons and they thanked me and remarked how much they really enjoyed the last ones, which made me feel really good.

Drip, drip, drip went the chemo… and an hour or so later they were pulling the plug and I was adjusting my accoutrements, when the nurse said, “OK, we’ll see you in 3 weeks! – Or is this your last one?” I said, “This is it! I’m done till it comes back!” and she gave me a nice, warm hug and said that was great and to have a nice long remission, which I agreed to do!

I went home and celebrated by finding the best price I could on a new web cam that will work with Win XP, and blowing a little money on it (under $75). It should get here sometime next week, and then I’ll put Buck TV back online for all you voyeurs to watch me make cartoons and stuff.

Till then, be sure to check out my main site, www.BuckCash.com to see all the latest cartoons (I make a new one almost every day), and KEEP LAUGHING!! 😀