Tuesday and Wednesday last week were startup days for the next round of chemo. I had the week prior off as that is the schedule for the Kyprolis protocol I am on. Three weeks of IV Kyprolis two days a week, then a week off. The Kyprolis is 100mg each day and goes along with 8mg of IV dexamethazone on top of the 20mg I take each of those days in pill form. So 200mg Kyprolis, 56mg dexamethazone each week. It gets a bit hard on the system….
This is one of those sit down and bitch and piss and moan posts. No question about it, I am feeling sorry for myself and attempting to bootstrap my wimpy ass back up by just complaining. Get it out of my system so to speak. I have other stuff to do and this is the fastest way from me to get past the come-down off the dex. Steroids are some nasty shit. They reduce inflammation, which is a good thing, but they can tear the hell out of other systems including those that modulate the emotional makeup.
It is different for each individual of course. True of any substance one puts in ones body, we all react in our unique way. I tend to wind up like an eight day clock tied to a gun with a hair trigger. Pain diminishes which is a nice side benefit, cognitive functions remain the same but sensory functions intensify. So do reflexes. I kid you not, it is eerie sometimes. An item fell off the table yesterday and I caught the damn thing mid-air on its way to the floor so fast that it confused me for a second. That is not the first time that has happened by a long shot either.
This afternoon, the ram got out of his pen. He is a pretty mellow ram, as rams go, but he will suddenly become motivated to knock one on ones ass now and again. When I went to let him back into his pen, he simply walked back in. No problem. But when I turned to secure the gate I saw out of the corner of my eye that he was going to give me a good slam with that full rack of curled horn on his head. I have no idea how I managed to respond fast enough. My spine is in no shape to handle the kind of twisting and the impact he delivered, and yet it happened. I am sore today from it. Tore some muscles along the 6th and 7th ribs I am pretty sure based on the burning sensation there. That will heal up in a week or so, but I got lucky.
When he came at me, he was about eight feet away and I was facing about 120 degrees away with my hands busy on the gate and latch. He tensed and dropped his head, and took a few quick step as I spun (not a good thing to do) to my right and squatted down (little tingles running down my legs from the pinched nerves in my back, also not good) into a bent knee stance. I managed to catch the right (his left) horn just above its base with my right hand, but my left slipped off the other horn. Distal neuropothy in my left hand leaves it in a state where holding a coffee cup requires conscious effort, so catching anything with my left hand is unlikely. I pushed down with my right hand as the left horn made contact with my right shin, deflecting a good portion of the momentem downward, then got a hold with my left hand and twisted his head to the ground. I pushed off and got out through the gate before he got himself situated for another go.
That sequence of events took maybe all of seven or eight seconds. It took me a good five minutes to catch my breath and get the muscles back under control. No real damage done, I am fine except for the burning in the ribs thing. Had I not been juiced up on leftover dexamethazone, I doubt I would be sitting here writing this at the moment. Those reflexes probably kept me from a very badly bruised, possibly broken femur. A good thing. But there is a price to pay for such luck…
One can only stay wired for so long, and when one becomes un-wired, well the result can be depressing…literally. And that is where one lands. I thought it was me just being overly sensitive and whiny until I went to see a bahavioral specialist who specializes in cancer patients. Turns out I am not the only one. I am not going to go on and on about depression or depression-like symptoms. There are a million stories out there and all the info and mis-info one could possibly absorb on the subject available for consumption. I will say that it is real and it is a bitch. I am fortunate that the crash only lasts from a few hours to maybe a day in some cases. That said, it is not pleasant to be around. It is unpredictable and volatile. Sometimes it just slides on by, no real outward indications, and those are good times.
So today I am tired. It is Sunday and I am at the farm. Two reasons for that: The first is that chemo start-up is likely to make me as I am right now, and it is good that I not be around people. Second, there are things that need to get taken care of here. I won’t get much done, I never do anymore. But the act of doing something productive helps pull me back into some form of usefulness. Gets me off FaceBook too.
I have been getting frustrated with my own lack of objectivity on that site. Normally I enjoy the banter and even some heated exchange, but it has gotten to where I am frustrated with it. The dialogue is rarely productive. There are no ideas put forth, just endless stupid memes and self-contradictory statements. If people actually looked at their timelines, reviewed what they posted, and thought about it a bit, I wonder if they would see the inconsistency of what they apparently stand for. Well, whatever…. I am just too tired to care I guess. I checked the bees yesterday and they looked good…and that beats anything on FB anyway.
It is wet down here at the Farm. This is one of those years when we vacsilate between hot humid and cold humid weather. It has been raining a lot here. Today is sunny and dry, but more rain is in the works for Tuesday. The neighbor who rents the pasture stopped by to say that he had fixed the flood gate on the Northwest line fence. We talked about cattle and noxious/invasive weeds and other sundries regarding farming for a while. He is another of those that will visit with me just because he knows I need to talk a bit I think. Get my mind on things other than …well… whatever is on my mind. A good neighbor, and I appreciate his quiet patience as well as his business. Our pastures are in good shape because of his cattle using them, and he does a good job monitoring and managing the pasture too. No overgrazing.
It is 10:00 now, and I am almost limber enough to get up and get moving. Maybe I can burn the rest of these chemicals out of my system before I start back up on Tuesday again. There will be the drive home tomorrow, maybe some time with Daveed, and then back into chemo. Lucky me, I get an IGG booster on top of the chemo this coming week. Ye-haa! I shouldn’t bitch, it keeps me alive…. .
Bitch session complete…. time to move, gotta keep moving…