Chemo tastes sour. Breaths sour. Feels sour. It is in my mouth, my stomach, my lungs. It fuddles my brain and muddles my thoughts. It has stolen my ability to multitask, caused single tasking to be difficult, and robbed me of my sense of time.  It’s poison, acidic, and harsh.  It is death, small, insidious, killing me slowly, and the tumor faster.  I feel it, too, dying in my chest as if a mad crow was digging beneath my skin, picking at my innards with sharp snips.  I sip water as I type and it tastes sour. Everything tinged by the poison disguised as medicine.

I made it through my last chemotherapy treatment, and have to choose between three options: one, do nothing: there is an 80% chance the tumor is dead.  Two, get 2 more months of chemotherapy.  Three, get radiation therapy.   These are potentially life and death decisions, and being an analyst I am reading and exploring all the medical research I can.  I failed to do that when I was on the trial drug, and it cost me.  However, this time I may be over analyzing to the point of paralysis.  The research is split. More chemo may have a lower level or long term negative effects since radiation may increase future cancers.

I can’t say I am leaning toward radiation, but I am leaning away from chemo. It is a battle of visceral fears. Radiation is an intellectual fear, I know what damage it may do. Chemotherapy is an actual fear, having experienced it I loathe the idea of going through it again.   This is an issue of the evil you know verse the evil you don’t know.

The two Oncologist, MSK and St. Francis are in agreement about radiation. The radiation oncologist was 50/50, saying the only option I couldn’t justifiably take was the “do nothing” one.

What I hate is that had this just been Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and not Hodgkin’s with the tumor (called Bulky Mass Disease. Not officially a tumor) then I would be done right now. I could do nothing and have only a minor chance of the cancer recurring.  This means had my doctor found it the first or second time I went to see him, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this.

In other news, Alex is doing very well. He had discovered trains, and Thomas is now if favorite (only) show.  He also is going to Karate with me, and taught himself how to do roundhouse punches, back fists, front kicks, and wheel kicks simply by watching me do them against the bag.


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