That is a strange expression if ever there was one. Janet and I went through a brief phase where we attempted to determine the origin of our expressions. It was taking too much time and effort. We gave up. I might have to start that exercise again.

I am bummed out. This has been an up and down week. My reaction to Neulasta went as expected. Tired, achy bones and so on. I only tool three Tylenol 1 pills to drive away the pain. Not bad considering my first experience with the drug. I got a lot done, which may be part of the problem.

I am not sure what it is that drives us constantly to the point of exhaustion. I discussed this briefly with a couple of other cancer patients and we all came up empty. It seems to be desire to feel useful again, after feeling like you are a parasite.

Did the laundry, OK, only half the laundry. Got the clothes in the washer, but no energy to transfer them to the dryer.

Visited my friend Sherry Ivankovic in Kitchener who has melanoma. She was supposed to be dead two and half years ago, but is still going strong. She also had a stroke to complicate matters which makes for interesting conversations. She loses track of what she is saying half way through a conversation. She repeats herself telling me a story on the phone, repeating the story in an eMail and again in person. Every iteration is as energetic as the first, as if is is the first time she is telling it. To all accounts, every time is the first time as far as she is concerned. We compared cancer notes. The similarities are endless. It helps to talk., Almost a sigh of relief when you notice the identical reactions to the drugs and our situation.

I visited another cancer patient, this one with pancreatic cancer who was admitted to the palliative care centre at the Princess Margaret Hospital. She should not be there right now. She was very strong when I went to see her. She was being released to go home for the weekend. She was admitted to allow the doctors to determine what pain medication would work best. Her pancreas and spleen were removed about eighteen months ago. She is still gracing us with her presence. I cannot imagine the amount of pain she is in. Stoic as ever, she still suffers. Morphine doesn’t cut it any more. New pain medication is being tested. I stayed with her for a while. Watched some soccer with her father. We talked quite a bit.

The conversations between cancer patients are very different when we are alone A lot more intimate. Small bits of information come out that are usually kept in the dark shadows of our existence. We allow ourselves the luxury of divulging and talking about stuff we would not normally discuss, even with our most intimate friends. A lot of stuff takes a while to digest, internalize, and finally verbalize in some fashion. The last part does not always happen. We prefer to keep some things very private. Don’t ask me for examples. Surely that would defeat the whole reasoning behind keeping some thoughts private.

I have been experiencing some pains for the past few days. I had to tell Janet about it. Notice the use of the word had. Did not want her to be concerned. I tend to think these things are normal and to be expected when we are subjected to our drug regimen. I had to tell her because I kept groaning and wincing every time I changed positions. The groans were totally involuntary and gave the game away. She is as always concerned and does not anything a being normal. Hard to know where the lines are.

I went to see an acupuncturist. My sister, quite rightly, thought it might help with increasing my energy levels, and might even affect my white blood cells in a positive way. I have tried acupuncture before quite successfully. That was years ago and I have lost track of my acupuncturist’s whereabouts. Hard to call her my acupuncturist when I saw her so many years ago. Went to a new person. A man named Tak. An experience not to be forgotten.

I arrived on time. Took off my shoes and went into his office which occupies the basement of what, I assume, is his house. I was asked to fill out the usual forms outlining the family history of diseases and conditions. Name, address, date of birth and so on. Illnesses during childhood: none. Illnesses during adolescence: none. Recent conditions and operations: colon cancer metastasized. Parental conditions: mother died of lung cancer, epileptic. There was last sheet that I presumed outlined side effects and conditions of taking the acupuncture. It was written in paragraph format while the rest of the document had questions and spaces for answers. I ignored the past page. This upset Tak enormously. I was chastised for not reading the page and providing answers. He was quite brusque about the whole thing. A man in my condition has other things wrong with him, and those are outlined in the last page.

I read the page and found nothing that pertained to me. I was fine except for the cancer part, and the fatigue, and low white blood cells. No gastro-intestinal issues, or whatever else he had on the list. You cannot imagine how upset he was by this. Impossible. This has never happened before. A man in my condition must have other things wrong with him. Whatever. I do not seem to fit into his mold. He seemed quite exasperated and finally asked: So why do you have cancer? The why question, as if we are to blame for getting cancer. There I was at the mall, there was a sale on and I thought I would give it a try and see how it fits. I replied that I would be more that happy to hear his reasons for people getting cancer. The answer to this riddle, should he know it, would make him a multi-billionaire. He did not appear to be amused by my response. I cannot help you, he says, since all you have is cancer.

We decided to give it a try anyways. I found the experience very relaxing. He left me on the table with the needles inserted in various parts of my legs, and a couple in my neck. The couple he inserted in the soles of my feet hurt a bit, but the rest were easy to get along with. He left me for a bit and I relaxed on the bed. Practiced my deep breathing exercises, and said some prayers. Almost fell asleep. He came back, removed the needles, made me lie on my side and applied some heat to various parts of the back and neck. Over. Done. Good bye. Paid him his $75. What a rough man. What a horrible way to treat a patient, let alone a cancer patient. I will have to write him expressing my dissatisfaction.

My nurse, Barb came by for her visit. She recommended another acupuncturist with whom I will get in touch shortly. What a flame out that experience was.

I have a lousy sense of direction. I am one of those people who would get lost coming out of a paper bag. I ask for directions all the time and fail to follow them, or misunderstand them or something. Such was the case when I went to Kitchener to see Sherry. A trip that should take a maximum of 90 minutes tool over three hours. I was quite out of sorts when I got home and went to bed at 6:30.

I have been totally exhausted ever since. I have been resting and sleeping a lot. Which is why I am bummed out. The Neulasta was supposed to have kicked in by now, boosting my energy. I will rest for the remainder of the day.

Tomorrow is a whole new adventure.

5 Responses to “Bummed Out”

  1. What a horrible, horrible man; make sure that you do write him and let him know how he made you feel. I can think of two similar situations where people that I went to for help made me feel like a piece of gum on the bottom of a shoe. I meant to write them letters expressing my feelings but never did and to this day I regret it.

    I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who is easily lost; remind me to never take a road trip with you. LOL!

  2. I have an excellent acupuncturist, a Chinese doctor, who is very western. cannot imagine having a lousy experience in her office. let me know if you'd like her name. let me know if you'd like more info. big blessings to you Farokh.

  3. I went to a specialist in Chinese medicine a few years back. He was rough too. My problem with the experience was that generally my mind and body aren't friends and don't get along and Chinese medicine expects them to be.

  4. I have a great TCM doc. Let me know if you want his contact information. Not a jerk, not rough, and effective.

  5. I have read a few other websites related to this subject in the past few days in doing a research report for my boss. I have to say that what you’re saying here makes perfect sense and is helping me to get my head around this subject. Do you have any other forums you could recommend to help my research?

    Regards,

    Chiropractor

    Chiropractor Myrtle Beach

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