Feeling Better

Just a short note.

Bloodwork was good!

Well it was certainly rough for about 5 days after chemo, but about Tuesday and Wednesday I started to feel much better. I finally had an appetite and ate pretty much normally. My bloodwork came back very good this week, so my job is just to recoup as much as possible before the next round knocks me down again! It felt good to be well enough to get back to playing at Mass, and doing a little more around the house.

Yummy food! They said not to eat greasy food. Well, my mouth was happy, but my tummy was not. Lesson learned!

And so the cycle will be for the next several months. Hilly terrain ahead!

I’ll have slightly different medications for round 2. I hope they help lessen the side effects a bit better, but now I know what to expect, and hopefully can handle things better.

Next time I will write more. Till then – Thanks for reading!

My New Life

Two words: Side Effects.

My new life has hit me like a load of bricks this weekend. At the time of my last post on Thursday, I felt fine. Later that night, the nausea began to set in. From there it was a terrible “first night”. Crazy nausea (that is perhaps only letting up a bit today – Sunday), going pee every hour or more, and general discomfort.

Friday brought…the hiccups! How strange. I’ve read it’s a reaction to the anti-nausea medication they give you pre-chemo. I’ve been told it’s from gas build-up due to constipation. Oh did I mention constipation? I’m used to pooping every morning as essentially a ritual. Not anymore!

I was given an additional anti-nausea medication, which, did zero for my nausea, and then made me all kinds of drowsy. I won’t be taking that again!

I did not eat much on Friday. Saturday I did much better, but still it wasn’t a lot of food. Hard to want to eat when you feel like barfing at any given moment. Today I feel like I’ve had the most to eat so far. In terms of the nausea, like I’ve said, I am feeling a bit better.

But not so fast!

Today, and a hint of it last night, my mouth starts to hurt. I mean everything inside my mouth that can hurt, hurts. My gums, my cheeks, my tongue, my teeth. My throat, too! It hurts to chew some simple soft shrimp. Some sores are visible, but a lot of this pain is essentially a phantom. Like little needles poking you all over, randomly.

Not to mention I’m tired as heck, my eyes hurt, and I’ve been an emotional train wreck.

Well, all of these things were to be expected. I suppose I can tolerate most of these things, but the nausea is honestly what kicks my butt the most. I don’t want to sound hyperbolic, but it really is close to debilitating. 

I was proud of myself that yesterday I managed to do a few simple chores around the house with some energy to spare. It seems that energy will become a precious resource over the next several months. I hope that I and my doctors will find some better ways of managing the side effects, especially the nausea. I don’t want to rely on Big Pharma. Perhaps just sheer willpower will win the day!


Yes, this sounds all pessimistic and sad, but despite my situation, I have so many blessings. Who knew that having someone come by to walk Bella for an hour would mean so much? Or that a neighbor would make you a whole plate of 包子 (baozi – meat filled buns) at 8pm with sweet words of encouragement?

Aww – It’s rare to cuddle with Daddy.

Bella has been such a sweet and gentle pupper for the past few days. I think she understands that something isn’t quite right with Daddy. She’s been extra cuddly (she usually is only affectionate on her terms) and extra protective. We see that her behavior has changed with her friends at the dog park. I suppose she is stressed, just like we are. Dogs are smart. There’s a reason for the name “man’s best friend”. Bella has helped us both through the turmoil of the past 1.5 years, we know she will get us through our latest challenge.


Lastly, but not least, Luyang deserves the gold. She has been working crazy long hours at work, which won’t settle down for several weeks. On top of that, going to the hospital with me, extra trips to the store, pharmacy, preparing meals, doing housework, taking care of me, rehearsals, lessons, playing with Bella, with little to no time to herself. She’s having a heck of a time too. I’m not always her best support, either, especially not lately. What did I do to deserve such a loving wife!?

Honey, I’m sorry we have to go through this at such a young age, and in this time of unbelievable social and global uncertainty. At the end of the day, we have each other, our pupper, and our family. We are truly blessed!

I hope the next time I write can bear better news. This week I look forward to returning to “the bench” and playing/singing for Mass. I hope I can do it. We’ll see how it goes!

Thank you all for the continued love, cards, prayers, and support.

P.s. – I am working on getting some kind of translation function set up so our family in China may be able to read these posts as well. So you may see some glitches here and there as I work on it.

Round 1!

The shave is saddening, but the port sure beats one stuck in your arm!

Well it has been a very busy and tiring week. After a brief trip to visit family, I had one more day to do chores around the house before port placement surgery on Wednesday.

The port placement went very well. It actually hurts far less than the biopsy did. Just sore. My pain medicines did me no real favors, as I imagine some of you have experienced with them. I don’t like to take those things and I don’t think I really ever needed it. My surgeon is great, I know he did a great job.

Chemo Day 1
ordering lunch
Ordering Lunch! How exciting!

The first day of chemo today was a very long one – almost 9 hours at the hospital. Some delays in the initial bloodwork and tests ate up a few hours, but next time it should go quite smoothly and take much less time. Everything went very well, anyway. I didn’t even feel the needle going into the port! (Thank you lidocaine!) It was a big, long needle! The nurses were great, and it was a long day for them, too.


Blah. Drugs and masks. Sleepy and crabby.

We managed not to be too bored! I even got to sleep a little bit. Looking forward to a good night of sleep, and hoping not to get up too much for potty breaks. (I’ve never peed so many times in one day in my entire life.) Glad we brought books, snacks, games, and coloring. Luyang always has great boredom-beating ideas.

Lunch was actually pretty good, and just the right portion for me!

Chemo will actually last for 20 weeks, taking me into early January. Hopefully all goes well!

I keep receiving wonderful cards with prayers and well-wishes. Thank you all so much!

I’m too tired to think about this anymore. Thank you all for reading!