Hit the Road, Jack

August 28, 2007

That headline above applies triply, as you shall see, O Best Beloveds. First, we have the departure of unwelcome cells, and the news that my latest tumor markers came in at 78. Not as low as Dr. W’s gleeful prediction of 72, but close enough, and we don’t hire him to choose our lottery numbers anyhow. That’s down from 105, for those graphing at home, and so—outta here! And by “here” I mean “me.”

Booty dancing would commence at this juncture, had I not, about an hour ago, had my left toenail removed, speaking of things that are out of here and me. Yes, the meds are working their wonders on all sorts of areas and in such splendid ways. Thus, that hand-foot syndrome associated with Xeloda is really asserting itself. I mean, when a podiatrist, a trained professional, looks at your feet and says, essentially, “Oh…yuck,” you know you’ve got a particularly grotty situation. For once, I will spare you the details. Anyway, the toenail was going to have to go sooner or later, and I chose sooner to just get on with it, even if that nail did have such a pretty coat of polish. (And it took so long for it to grow in last year when I had it removed. Shoot. I liked having semi normal feet.) At least it was something I could do, as opposed to the irritations on the soles of my feet that make walking and standing at the end of each two week chemo cycle an unhappy activity, and for which there seems to be no real relief. It’s also starting to affect my hands, to the point that holding a pen or turning a small lid on a container or other fine point tasks are painful if even possible. So far, I can still type, which is essential; I can hire sherpas to carry me around if it comes to that, but by God, I need to type. The big problem for me isn’t the side effects but their duration. All along, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to think “Okay, so this sucks, but I only have to do it until Oct. 6, and then it will get better.” When we are talking about a medication I need to be on henceforth, then side effects aren’t so easy to endure, because they stop being a X-amount-of-time situation and turn into The Way Things Are. I’ve asked Dr. W. if he can lower my dose for this reason, and he said he would in about a month. I can certainly do a month–hell, I can have all my toenails removed if need be–but it’s unclear if he can lower the dose enough to make a difference. He seems to think so, and 72 is awfully close to 78, so he surely knows his business.

And the final thing that is hitting the road would be Plucky Survivors See America 2: The Midwest Express, commencing this Thursday, August 30 and blogged daily at PluckySuvivors.com. Do follow along, won’t you? The Spam Museum and the hobo cemetery! Blue Bunny Ice Cream factory tour and the Abraham Lincoln Library! Barbeque and donuts and Maid Rites! And lots more, including some kind of ax murderer house, speaking of grotty things! Just don’t look too closely at my feet in the photos. Or if you do, please focus on the remaining, still nicely polished nine toenails.

Achin’ but celebratin’