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chemo
Cancer Patient Blog
by Hugh Cook
zenvirus.com
hughcook.com

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What's this?

Blog of a cancer patient receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) - first chemotherapy (February - May 2005) then radiotherapy (starting June 2005).

During the four months February 2005 - May 2005 inclusive I received chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) at Auckland Hospital in New Zealand.

Three chemotherapy agents were used. During six cycles of chemotherapy, I received methotrexate and vincristine. Additionally, on six occasions Ara-C was delivered to the spinal area by lumbar puncture.

The results of this chemotherapy, as far as I can tell, were as follows:-

(i) I had a little vomiting and nausea during the first chemotherapy cycle but none thereafter;

(ii) At one stage I had one small mouth ulcer;

(iii) I experienced diminished energy levels during the period in which I was receiving chemotherapy and for some time after;

(iv) The cancer had largely vanished by the time chemotherapy was finished (with radiation therapy scheduled to follow after chemotherapy);

(v) My brain shrank. I am unable to objectively assess what effects the shrinking of my brain may have had on my mental performance. Subjectively, I feel okay.

I ended up feeling satisfied with the treatment that I had received but strongly negative about hospital food.

cancer:-

     brain cancer: initial treatment Dec 2004 - March 2005
     cancer details - cell type
     cancer details - treatment with methotrexate and Ara C
     fourth chemotherapy cycle
     lumbar puncture Ara-C
     routine life with chemotherapy - April 2005
     chemotherapy: hemoglobin problem
     methotrexate impact - blood tests
     cancer in my imagination: old story notes
     chemotherapy: details cannula placement
     chemotherapy: fifth cycle successful
     chemotherapy: health consequences
     cancer in remission
     MRI scan results after chemotherapy

     ... and see radiotherapy


radiotherapy:-

     radiotherapy: initial steps
     radiotherapy: the mold room
     radiotherapy: radiation therapy orientation
     radiotherapy: discussing side effects
     waiting for radiotherapy to start
     radiation necrosis
     brain radiotherapy: accelerated aging

poems embedded in diary:-

     Celebration
     Chemotherapy
     Cryptic
     In the Ruins of my Collapsed Life
     Leashpet
     Mad Angel Brooding
     Methotrexate
     Out Fishing
     Radiotherapy
     Survivorhood
     Twelve Hours Distant



METHOTREXATE

Big brown garbage bag of stuff.
Swollen poison
Thick as yellow urine.
Pissing into my system.
I want to scrub away the image
With strawberries
Sweetened with sunlight.

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Hugh Cook
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Website contents copyright © 1973-2006 Hugh Cook

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poems embedded in diary:-

     Celebration
     Chemotherapy
     Cryptic
     In the Ruins of my Collapsed Life
     Leashpet
     Mad Angel Brooding
     Methotrexate
     Out Fishing
     Radiotherapy
     Survivorhood
     Twelve Hours Distant

Disclaimer:

This web page is part of the writer's account of his encounter with cancer (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the large B-cell type). Note that the text may contain information that is wrong, outdated, incomplete or otherwise misleading. This web page has been written in a time of illness by a cancer patient who, though he feels sharp enough, must admit to sometimes misinterpreting things, forgetting things, or, on occasion, quite simply not hearing things. This web page is designed to communicate the writer's personal experience and is not intended as a source of medical information. Got a medical question? Ask your doctor.