[cancer] Getting so much better all the time

I posted some months back about the difference in recovery curves between surgery and chemo [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. What I failed to note at the time was the difference in timelines, at least for my own experience.

I finished chemotherapy on June 20th of this year. Over two months later, at Worldcon in Melbourne, I still had significantly limited mobility due to extreme fatigue. Even now, over three months later, peripheral neuropathy remains a meaningful issue for me (though in fairness I noted some significant improvement a week or so ago). This from a course of treatment that essentially began with my lung resectioning at Thanksgiving of last year. I’m on month eleven of dealing with that.

Whereas I am two and a half weeks past the liver resectioning, and find myself noticeably improving by the day. I’m walking at pace in the mornings, for example. I’ve stopped sleeping with a pillow clutched to my gut. My post-operative eating issues have vanished. I mostly kept up with calendula_witch and her parents this past weekend.

At this point, except for the residual pain and discomfort from the still-healing surgical wounds, I feel better than I did before the surgery. I expect within another week or so to feel very nearly normal for the first time since last November, with the possible exception of lingering fatigue issues and, of course, ongoing peripheral neuropathy.

This swift upward climb is such a stark contrast to the slow decay of chemotherapy. There I felt like I was aging a decade every month, at least during the latter part of the process.

Also I note with amusement that the debilitation from my liver’s regeneration process has gone essentially unnoticed by me thus far, being masked by the later stages of chemo recovery.

I’m not normal yet, but I can see it from here. I think I’m getting my exit visa to once more end my time as a tourist in the land of the slow. Let’s hope like hell I don’t get sent back yet again.

6 thoughts on “[cancer] Getting so much better all the time

  1. Matte Lozenge says:

    This is really great news. Instead of a double whammy of chemo on top of trying to recover from previous chemo. It’s nice to get a good report from the lab, but feeling physically better is what really matters for quality of life. Plus, noticeable daily progress toward recovery is good for morale.

    We expect you soon to be tap dancing with a chirping canary on your shoulder! Hmm, well maybe just having warm fingers would be enough.

  2. Simone Cooper says:

    What a wonderful progress report! I am very, very pleased to hear your good news.

    I wish more swift recovering.


  3. Leon says:

    Go, Jay, go.

  4. C.E. Petit says:

    Given that most chemo drugs (and, indeed, most of any other chemical) are longest retained in the liver, I’m not surprised that removing part of one’s liver would tend to remove some of the lingering side effects. This probably has little future as a recommended therapy option, though…

    1. Jay says:

      That had *so* not occurred to me… But, yeah, wow. And no, I don’t recommend liver resectioning as a therapy option. Or for fun and profit, either.

  5. stevie says:

    OK, it’s not livers, but in a further Press Release from the Department of Silver Linings, I would like to point out that you have got your chemo in just before the end of the antibiotic era cans chemo altogether; you are thus well ahead of the curve.

    Indeed, you are at the cusp when everything changes; where better place could a sf writer be?

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