No not from chemo. Side effects from stuff like this blog.

I am not sure what the original motivation was. Communicating with family and friends? Therapy for me? What?

The effects of the blog have been nothing short of amazing.

An acquaintance of Nancy’s wrote at the very beginning thanking me for the blog. Her aunt had cancer and withdrew from everyone for the 5 years it took to get back under control. The blog gave her a glimpse of what her aunt had gone through.

Others have expressed interesting feelings about the effect of the blog on their understanding of what dealing with this chronic condition entails.

A friend of mine, from the Art Therapy sessions put me in touch with a U.S. based site called Cancer Compass. They have articles and newsletters and links, and most importantly, blogs and letters from subscribers (free) dealing with their chronic conditions.

The only issue I have with these sites is that the U.S. treats things a lot differently than we do. People use these sites as sources of information, which is not a bad thing, except when used instead of consulting a Doctor, which costs money in the U.S.. While people are a source of information, we are also a source of misinformation.

I asked my nurses and Doctors after my operation, why I was off pain killers within 7 days of the operation. Questions from everyone seemed to indicate that this was too early. The answer is that we really do not know. Every one is different.

My reaction to chemo is another example. I have few side effects. Fatigue is one and possibly the worst.  Today was chemo day. I showed up at 10, ushered in past 11 and out of there by 2:30. They were short staffed. I was on my own. Janet had to work, Dev had his piano class. The event has become routine. Dev picked me up at the end of my session. Perfect timing. I have taken to sleeping through the session. I listen to music on my iPhone. Not the best, but not an issue since I am asleep through most of it.

The nurses ask you a host of questions before administering the treatment. The only positive answer I give them is the fatigue. No allergies, no vomiting, or anything else on the list. Almost gratifying. I watch others in the room, lying down in beds or sitting in chairs, some looking sad, others obviously debilitated by the experience. And there I am, laughing along with my nurses who could obviously use a break.

All this to say, that I went onto the Compass site and joined their community. I go on once in a while to read the posts. Takes time, which, ironically, I seem to be short of. Not as in time before dying, just time on a daily basis. But that is for another day.

I received an eMail from another subscriber of Cancer Compass. Her husband, who is a bit older than me, is going through what I am going through. Colon cancer that has metastasized onto the liver. She, the wife, is scared, as well she would be. He has just had his operation, and is having the usual reactions.

His wife and I are exchanging eMails. She keeps me up to date with what he is going through, and I offer her my experiences. On one side is the positive effects this is having on her. The other side is that my experience will not be the same as his. It helps give her an idea of what to expect, what directions things will go in, but it may not be definitive.

Did I mention they live in Denver? To which all I can say, is amazing. Here we are communicating across a continent. A bit humbling.

How many are affected by our actions, whether intended or not? I am affected by the eMails I send her. They are proving interestingly therapeutic. Going over my experiences and verbalising them again. She has access to the blog, but finds it easier to write eMails.

Yet we go through our lives impervious to the effects our actions have on others.

Any thoughts?

3 Responses to “Actions and their Side Effects”

  1. Farokh Jan,
    Ron and I are sitting at the comp. as I write.
    On and off I have been looking at the blog.
    I don't know what I expected to read.
    I suppose I wanted to see if the experience has changed you.
    I have to say that you sound like you.
    In some way I miss the Monajem home in Montreal.
    The get together.
    Want to call you and don't know when is a good time
    I love you and Ron sends you his love as well.

  2. Farokh,
    Happy Saturday to you! Your blog is always a joy to read. You write so well… sincerely and of interest to everyone. By the way, you have some amazing friends! I love to read about your relationships with them. YOU ARE LOVED! (now it's my turn to say it to you.)

    As I am feeling stronger and more like my old self…..(yes the magic pill has helped tremendously control anxiety and the onset of panic attacks,) I feel more out of the loop with people going thru chemo. I am happy to be connected with you and others but it does feel different now. I am looking into volunteering, as I mentioned before. I have tried contacting some places but still need to call more (too many voice machines.) It's too easy to stay indoors and do all the chores all the time. (There are enough chores to keep me busy forever.) Since I am only 52, I shouldn't write myself off as a productive member in society. I want to still be able to work, even if it's a light job. At least volunteering will wake me up to this. So, wish me luck to get off my comfy a–!

  3. 'Yet we go through our lives impervious to the effects our actions have on others. Any thoughts?' Some of 'the masters' teach us to be as present as we can in the moment, as it always holds us, and this helps counter overactive overanxious mind …. and they teach us to intend to bring our best not only to the present moment but to those we encounter. It's a great and challenging practice, and can mean that we impact others in very positive ways. Just by being. The way a peaceful person radiates serenity, the way your humour and candor bring such delight.
    Have been catching up on the past week or so… by the way, the following couple of entries are dated Jan and not Feb.
    love to you and Janet.

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