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1 September 2014 / erikduval

Done with ordinary…

Last Thursday, I had my eight and last ‘ordinary’ chemo. Yes, done with ordinary!

This wasn’t an all that great one though. Details on request (if you insist) and much later. You see: thinking about chemo makes me sick… Literally. Which means that I get sick before I even get the actual chemo medicine. When entering the hospital. When thinking about entering the hospital. Actually, writing about thinking about the experience makes my stomach turn. Enough about that. Yikes.

But hey, it’s over! I’m done with it! With the ‘ordinary’ chemo, that is. In two weeks, I will have a PET scan. If that is reasonably OK, then I will spend a few weeks in hospital early October for an extra-heavy dose of chemo to hopefully get rid of the last traces of lymphoma, followed by an autologous stem-cell transplant to get back on my feet. And then, touch wood, well … that may actually be the end of my treatment. We’ll see. Let’s not get carried away…

For now, my major issue is hiccups. Doesn’t sound like a Big Deal. Because I guess it basically isn’t. Unless when you spend halve of the day and half of the night hiccupping (is that a word?)… Bit tiresome. And makes it a bit complicated to have a conversation, or to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. I do have medication that’s supposed to help. And, hey, actually, it really isn’t a Big Deal.

Now, if only hiccups would make me look a bit more like a wolf pup…




Leave a Comment
  1. Gillian / Sep 1 2014 3:15 pm

    Hiccupping lots – ouch. Hope it eases soon and you can have some physical rest before the next stage. As you said, Stage 1 accomplished and that’s got to be good.

  2. dougclow / Sep 1 2014 4:51 pm

    Hooray for the end of ordinary chemo! And sympathy for the hiccups. I think that’s one of those things that are no problem at all to most people, but can be really problematic if you have them chronically.

    You’re in good company, though. Famously, when it was the turn of the great playwright Aristophanes to speak during Plato’s Symposium, he couldn’t talk because he had hiccups – “either he had eaten too much, or from some other cause”. Maybe the other cause was chemo side effects? Anyway, Aristophanes gets the doctor who’s there to swap turns and also tell him how to cure the hiccups. The doctor agrees and suggests: “hold your breath, and if after you have done so for some time the hiccough is no better, then gargle with a little water; and if it still continues, tickle your nose with something and sneeze; and if you sneeze once or twice, even the most violent hiccough is sure to go.” It’s ancient advice so I wouldn’t dismiss it, but I guess that modern evidence-based medicine can do better these days, and the medication will be more help. Ancient or modern, I hope it gets better soon.

    All the best.

  3. gputland / Sep 2 2014 1:12 am

    Hi Erik,
    Great to hear you are making progress and hope that the worst is over. I don’t know that I can imagine how difficult the last few months have been for you but it sounds like the light is at the end of the tunnel. I wish you well and look forward to you getting back on your feet and getting back to the great work you were doing prior! Yes it is hiccupping and they can be annoying. Hope your over it.
    Best wishes, Garry

  4. Sam / Sep 3 2014 12:49 pm

    Great news !

  5. Barbara (@bkieslinger) / Sep 4 2014 7:26 am

    Hi Erik, just came across your blog (after a long time… I confess). Just want to wish you all the best and a good recovery!

  6. JoB / Sep 4 2014 1:53 pm

    You sound like one who luckily started running the ultra-marathon with high motivation so he has just enough energy and drive left in the final stages when you can almost smell the finish.

    You’re close to a prolonged waiting in hospitals/for doctors stage. That will be annoying but maybe it is therapeutic in the sense that everything clearly is just about your body so your mind can rest.

    Take care, I’m looking forward to uncrossing my fingers.

  7. Donatella / Sep 8 2014 2:23 pm

    WOW! This First Big Step is important! I wish you all the best for the the PET and all the rest. Crossing fingers!

  8. Elsl / Sep 12 2014 10:24 pm

    Bundeltje van tips voor als ze terugkomen. En daarnaast: op naar minstens nog eens zoveel verjaardagen!

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