Catch me if you can, cancer. (22)

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So, it’s been a week since my last post. I’d like to blame it on writer’s block. But, honestly, I was just too busy to spend the time it takes to come up with some quality material. I’ve never been so busy in my life. It’s fantastic. If I never slow down or stop, cancer and chemo can’t catch up with me, right? Before you think I’m crazy, understand that the critical thinker in me knows that this is fundamentally absurd. Or, is it? It’s amazing to me what I have been able to accomplish, and how I have been able to feel, just by telling myself that’s how it is and how it is going to be. Regardless, I have chosen this perspective, and it’s worked well for me so far.

What am I up to these days? Well, usual 29 year old things…fighting cancer, handling chemo like a boss, going to grad school full time, working as a graduate assistant, running a personal website and blog, figuring out how to be a C.E.O. in order to get a biotech company off the ground and change the world, and networking my butt off (By the way, I’m now the CEO of Hunter Biomedical, which I could not be more excited about. That will get its own post here soon!). Not quite the world traveler and check-forger that Leonardo DiCaprio plays in “Catch me if you can,” but I feel like I’m at least as busy!

Before you guys jump all over me, I know that I’m going through chemo and I need to get my rest. I get plenty. I listen to my body, and I’m pretty sure I know what it can and can’t handle. I promise I won’t do anything to jeopardize my chances at beating butt cancer!

Now, I’ve talked a lot about perspective and how my relationship with time seems to have changed in previous posts. I am no longer a fan of doing nothing. I used to love it. We all fall into that trap. Oh, I can’t do this or that, I’m too busy. And, that being “too busy” part really means there’s that five hour Netflix vortex that you get sucked into and you also squeeze in a nap. Don’t worry, I still watch plenty of Netflix. It’s even on right now. But, it’s mostly background noise these days while I try and get other things done.

I feel great. I really do. I don’t have an exact answer as to why I am handling chemo so well. But, If I had to venture a guess, I think it’s all due to the combination of, in no particular order, my diet, my attitude, the outlet this blog has created, the support you guys have shown me, and the positive vibes and prayers that are constantly being sent my way. Believe it or not, this is a team effort. I couldn’t do it without each one of you.

That being said, the only real side effect I have had through the first three treatments is neuropathy, due to cold sensitivity. Basically, the chemo jacks up the nerve endings in my mouth, hands, and somewhat in my feet. If you’ve seen me in the past week, there’s a good chance I’ve been wearing gloves. When my hands get cold, they have the sensation as when your feet fall asleep. It’s prevalent as soon as I get done with chemo on Tuesdays and lasts about a week. Fun stuff. The most annoying thing is that I can’t have ice water. Although, you do get some pretty interesting reactions when you ask a server for room temperature water at a restaurant. Cold drinks make my mouth numb and taste fizzy. I don’t really know how else to describe it, because it’s just a really weird sensation. Plus, if it’s a cold drink I can’t even pick it up to drink it because of my hands. A few times, after coming in from the cold, my upper lip would go numb…definitely makes it complicated to try and talk. Once I warm up, everything gets back to normal again. Ironically, I’ve never dealt well with heaters, especially in cars, and they tend to make my sinuses all stopped up. So, it’s either pins and needles in my hands or messed up sinuses for a week. Let’s just say I’ve gone through a lot of tissues this past week. It all still beats being constantly nauseous though! There’s always a silver lining…

Anyway, I’m 25 percent done. Woohoo! I’m going to talk with my surgeon this week and try and figure out what they’re going to do for the next round of imaging and narrow down a surgery date. I was supposed to have a PET Scan last week, but the insurance denied it. COOL. If I get my way, I’ll have surgery on March 11th. That date would allow me eighteen days to recover, while only missing three days of school and one week of office hours for my GA position. Add another wild spring break to the list! Unfortunately, that date would put the surgery two weeks after the fifth treatment, instead of a month after the sixth treatment like they wanted to do, originally. But, it would work so much better with my school schedule. As soon as I know when I’m going to have the surgery, I’ll let you guys in on all the details. After talking to a few people that have been through it, it looks like I’ll basically be an infant for two weeks. Anyone interested in being my personal servant? Kidding.

In the meantime, continue to think happy thoughts, find a positive perspective, and get things done! It feels so much better to be productive. Also, try to be a little bit better each day than the day before! Always strive to set a new personal high score. I’ll leave you all to decide what that means for each of you.

Well, I’m sure it’s just terrible for you guys to hear a bunch of good news. Hopefully, the next treatment goes just as smoothly though. Check back for another post tomorrow!


6 thoughts on “Catch me if you can, cancer. (22)

  1. Zach, I’m glad you’re handling the chemo treatments so well and hope that continues to be the case!

  2. Bravo Sir,
    You’re taking care of business and kicking ass!
    BTW: if you weren’t already a CEO, you would make a helluva journalist. Great Writing!

  3. Glad to hear no nausea and minor symptoms from chemo. Your blogs are inspiring. Hang in there. God is in control and I’m sure he is smiling on you staying positive and keeping the faith. Am excited to hear more about your company when that time comes.

  4. I’m happy to hear chemo is going well. I agree with the person who said you’re a helluva writer. Positive vibes going your way.

  5. You have me cracking up over here. Congratulations on it all! I am envious of your amazing attitude and handwork, seriously inspiring! Can’t wait for your next post!

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