Drained at Home after Chemo

My apologies if the new “Cancer Blog Links” set-up did not work as designed.  My son, Nathan, wrote the code for me.  When I copied and pasted it, the links worked, i.e. when you hit “Ovarian Cancer”, you automatically advanced to that section without the need to scroll.  Then I tried to fancy the fonts up, tweaking the code myself.  That did not work.  So I went back and renewed the original code.  It works again.  I promise not to mess with it until I learn more about HTML.

Now that we are approaching 500 cancer blog links (with more on the way), I just felt that page was getting too unwieldy and needed some navigation aids..  This weekend I stumbled across some new blog sources as well as a couple of entire communities, multiple myeloma and neuroblastoma. I am creating new categories for these two groups.  We went from 2 to 37 myeloma bloggers in just a few hours.  These seem to be strong communities.  I notify every blogger when I have added them to the blogroll.  Reciprocating links is one way of building and strengthening our cancer blogging community.

Our English Setter, Raleigh

Our English Setter, Raleigh

Whenever I get more than a few survivors of an ‘uncommon’ cancer, I will try to establish a separate category in the list.  One suggestion that I have for many of the blogs that I have seen is to have a clear, concise “About” section in which you state your precise diagnosis.  Many bloggers refer to themselves as “a cancer survivor” or “fighting cancer” without really saying which of the hundred odd diseases they have.  Sometimes it takes scanning dozens of entries before you find a hint at the actual diagnosis.  Sometimes I even make a guess based on the treatment mentioned.

I don’t suggest this just to make my job easier.  But general readers are curious.  They want to know how closely that they can identify with the blogger.  Even breast cancer survivors want to differentiate if they have triple negative or inflammatory disease for instance.  One of these days I will probably separate the Hodgkins bloggers out of the “Lymphoma” category as they are really different disease experiences.

Journal: January 2002

Tish helps me on with my coat.  Both of them help me into a wheelchair.  I am shaking in the wheelchair and having difficulty holding my eyes open or my head up.  The nurse suggests that Tish go bring the car around to the entrance.  After longer than seemed logical, Tish finally returned.  She had thought that the nurse was going to wheel me out.  But the nurse said that she could not leave the clinic, as she was the only nurse.  So Tish pushes me out to the car, covers me with a blanket, then returns the wheelchair to the clinic.
I remember being huddled in the car, leaning against the door, and shaking all the way home.  Periodically I open my eyes.  But we are never where I anticipate we will be.  The trip seems to take hours.  Tish helps me into the house and out of my coat.  I have had almost 1.5 liters of fluids and I need to urinate.  Tish has to help me into the bathroom.  It takes a long time, even in a sitting position because it is difficult to start to urinate when you are shaking.  Tish has to help me sit up.  She notices for the first time the dark rash on my calves is now dark purple and covers my legs entirely.
Finally I am ready to return to my chair in the living room.  To climb the stairs is too much.  My mother, sister, and sons Nathan and Aaron are home.  I am still shaking, making staccato moaning sounds.  They cover me with four blankets.  Tish goes to find the Benadryl that we just happen to have in the cabinet.  They take my temperature, give me more Tylenol, and wait for the shaking to stop which it finally does.  Periodically someone gives me water or stokes my forehead.  Around five hours later I awaken in my chair.  With Tish’s help I get up stiffly and walk upstairs.  I try to watch TV but cannot focus enough.  My body aches all over.  I feel like a zombie and Tish has to undress me for bed.


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.


Drained at Home after Chemo — 1 Comment

  1. Thanks for having the idea to literally link the cancer community.I love blogging about my cancer,as I find it one way to cope.Thanks for stopping by my blog,and i will include you in mine.
    Take Care

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