by Hugh Cook
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.
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: initial steps
radiotherapy: the mold room
radiotherapy: radiation therapy orientation
radiotherapy: discussing side effects
waiting for radiotherapy to start
brain radiotherapy: accelerated aging
poems embedded in diary:-
In the Ruins of my Collapsed Life
Mad Angel Brooding
Twelve Hours Distant
Big brown garbage bag of stuff.
Thick as yellow urine.
Pissing into my system.
I want to scrub away the image
Sweetened with sunlight.