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27 April 2014 / erikduval

Two down – or how I almost slept through my second chemo

After my not altogether positive experience with my first chemo session, it seems like I’m “getting better at getting better”: I had my second session last Thursday, with a different anti-nausea regime and, boy, what a difference that made! Until this morning, I slept, had a bit of Family Time, slept some more, enjoyed a few meals (!), had a bit more Family Time, and slept a lot more.

And now I’m more or less back on my feet. OK, there’s the Antwerp 10 miles race passing by our house, and I’m not sure I would be up for that yet. But I did have a walk with G and the dogs earlier today… No complaining on my side. If things continue to evolve this way, I will actually start to enjoy my chemotherapy by the time it ends! (Maybe getting a little bit carried away there…)

The other notable difference with last week? I now definitely have a ‘cancer head’. Most of my hair is gone. I had always though of that as Not a Big Deal. We went through that when G had her breast cancer treatment 10 years ago and it meant nothing to me then. I didn’t think it would mean much to me now. But it kind of did, I must admit. Every time I see myself in some mirror, I see a Cancer Patient. That’s OK. That’s what I am. It’s just the in-your-face way of putting it that needed a bit of getting used to.

In any case, my hair dresser was quite good about it. We agreed on a Really Short haircut (Think millimetres. Very few millimeters). I told him that if I ever would go for a military career, I would do so in the coming months, as I already had the required looks. Also told him that I was afraid he wouldn’t make much money off me for the next six or nine months.

Panama hat

My kids are good about it too: they’ve decided that I will wear a Panama hat once I’ve lost all my hair. I’m in for that. Has a nice Brideshead feel to it. Maybe I’ll start wearing a costume too…

In any case, that’s two chemo sessions down. Two battles won.



Leave a Comment
  1. Gonzalo Parra (@gaposx) / Apr 27 2014 9:29 pm

    Great choice of hat! I have one myself 😉

  2. Tasos Koutoumanos / Apr 27 2014 9:56 pm

    Well done Erik 🙂 Thank you for sharing; I hope you get back all those warm feelings and affinity that you shape through your writing.

  3. Robin De Croon (@RobinDeCroon) / Apr 27 2014 10:03 pm

    It is really nice to hear this session went better.

    I also like the idea of the panama hat, I’ll definitely have the coolest promotor (which – of course – is already the case 😉 )

    Keep strong Erik, I look forward to see you back at the office!

  4. Alan Fletcher / Apr 28 2014 9:04 am

    good to hear the session was better. As a supporter of public hat wearing I hope that you will adopt the new addition to your wardrobe as a permanent feature and be sporting it next year when you are back in the 10k.

  5. gsiemens / Apr 28 2014 1:11 pm

    Erik – thanks for posting these updates – their are many of us who are thinking of you. Happy to hear that the last session went better. Your attitude is impressive!!

  6. sverjans / Apr 28 2014 2:55 pm

    I guess a Panama really suits you. The distinguished gentleman with a strong Antwerp accent 😉 Keep the spirit!

  7. dougclow / Apr 28 2014 3:33 pm

    Thanks from me too for posting updates. I can see you in a Panama and maybe a crumpled linen suit! Wishing you all the very best.

  8. Gillian / Apr 28 2014 5:33 pm

    Thanks, Erik, for the update. Glad the management scheme was altered. The Panama sounds a great choice – with the ribbon adapted to the contexts in which it is worn you could have a lot of fun.

  9. Constantin Makropoulos / Apr 29 2014 10:20 am



  10. Xavier / Apr 29 2014 8:31 pm

    Panama hats are actually made in Ecuador. If you need it, I can send some…

    Great to hear you battles are getting easier. Keep getting better at getting better at getting better.

  11. Kate / May 5 2014 9:11 am

    Chemo’s a hard slog for sure. I’m not a hat wearer, and truly not a wig person, so I’m going with buffs from camping stores. Huge benefit is that they’re about something else and so they don’t say “cancer patient” to you when you look in the mirror. Plus your family get to call you The Dread Pirate.

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