Jewish Penicillin

March 11, 1997 – Jewish Penicillin

We arrived at the Marin Oncology center at 8:10. Here it is now 9:03 and we’ve just been sitting around. Naturally, they had us down for 9:00, not 8:00. So now I’m really getting restless. I’m not comfortable starting a mind story, not knowing how far I’ll get or if I’ll be able to even begin. I tried working on Practical Intuition, but the same considerations play. The man next to me is getting his i. v. already. I guess that he’s been here before.

Last night was fairly difficult. I seemed to sleep fairly well in stages, but due to all of the hydration, I was up many times. Finally, at 3:00, I went downstairs and did a little writing. Next came a tape, and by the time it was time to wake up, I was ready to sleep.

I haven’t been that preoccupied with today’s treatment plan, but I still felt unable to concentrate on my breath. No one can tell what kind of response I’m going to have to the chemo, and I’m a little worried. To top it off, I have two rounds of radiation also today.

I had expected to be able to listen to guided imagery tapes, but with all the commotion going around here, I preferred to listen to the classical CD’s I brought. The Beethoven Choral Fantasy brought on a lot of emotion. I also listened to Dvorak’s Piano Quintet and Shubert’s Trout Quintet. These pieces of music are so calming and beautiful. I use my computer as my portable CD player.

Once the 5FU and cisplatin where into my blood stream, I felt a few minor discomforts, but all in all, it wasn’t too bad – just like Shipley predicted. I can probably have a decent afternoon. As soon as the cisplatin was finished, I got an urge for matzoth ball soup from Max’s! When I was growing up, this was called, “Jewish penicillin!”

I started having pains in my stomach and needed to pee again! The pains didn’t last long and I continued to pee frequently. At around 1:15 P. M., an hour and a half after the cisplatin was totally in, I went down for my first radiation treatment. Although I was a little nervous, I came through it OK. Within the next half-hour, we were back upstairs, getting the i. v. out and on our way home. Although I felt very tired, there were no other side effects. I was advised to take a sedative tonight to get some sleep, but now that the unknown is known, will I need it?

The second radiation treatment went really well. I was able to be relaxed and visualize the radiation helping the cancer cells to mutate back to healthy cells normal cells, or, if they choose, to self-destruct. This seemed to be really effective. The radiologist placed tattoos for the spots for focusing the beam and then explained the computerized care that I was getting.

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