[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, miscellaneous bitses and pieceses of help edition

Trazodone
I’ve been taking Trazodone as a sleep aid since last week. Friday night it worked like a champ. Every other night it’s as if I’d taken a sugar pill. On the plus side, I’m no longer waking up groggy. This apparently means my body is acclimating to the medication. On the minus side, what the heck is happening? I was advise to slowly titrate the dose upward if it wasn’t effective at the initial, minimal dosage. But then there was Friday night’s 10+ hours of sleep, compared to last night’s 5.5 hours. There are some external stressors which have caused both my adrenaline and my anxiety to be up in the evenings these past two nights, but I don’t want to take a Lorazepam on top of a Trazodone. That seems like asking for trouble.

I really detest my pharmaceutically-driven lifestyle.

Regorafenib
Speaking of the pharmaceutically-driven lifestyle, as of this morning I am back on the Regorafenib. This after a week off for side effect recovery. That’s the normal pattern for this medication, three weeks on, one week off. Apparently if you take it continuously, the side effects are so horrible people just give up. Dad, Lisa Costello and I are going in for bloodwork and to see the oncologist today, so we can benchmark the first month of this medication. I’ll also be scheduling the follow-up CT scan, about four weeks from today.

I found the recovery period helpful in terms of minimizing the pain in my feet and hands. Likewise, my GI made a substantial recovery. My sore and swollen tongue has settled down a lot. Now that’s all going to start up again. If the last week of this first three-week series just past represents my peak symptoms, I’ll be able to tolerate this medication. If it gets much worse in this forthcoming three-week tranche, we’ll have to consider pretty carefully what I’m doing. And of course, the CT to be scheduled will tell us whether the drug is having any effect at all. If not, then I’m paying a pretty steep price for nothing.

Writing
Still not writing. Another day of deadline-driven life/business/planning activity yesterday, along with a deep sense of being overwhelmed. As I said a while ago, this is how the end begins. When every day I just can’t. I wrote for a decade without ever being blocked for more than a day or two. But cancer and its discontents really do a number on me.

A friend recently suggested that I formally retire from writing. My response was that this is what I’m in the process of doing, I just haven’t called it that. But the idea of quitting on purpose appalls me. That’s even worse than waiting for the cancer and the chemo and the stress to strip me bare.

I hate this, too.

Stocks
I’ve found some old stock from a former employer that has been through at least two rounds of M&A activity since the certificate was issued. Does anyone reading this, especially in the Portland area, have sufficient knowledge of stocks and how share ownership descends over time to give me either informal or formal advice? At a minimum, I’d appreciate a better understanding of what questions I need to ask, and of whom I need to ask them.

The Simpsons on DVD
Does anybody in my circle have the series run of The Simpsons on DVD? It’s wicked expensive to buy them all, and I’d like to start viewing this summer. The library has them, but that requires both waiting for the DVDs to be available, and fairly rapid timing in my part in watching them.

Game of Thrones on BluRay
Likewise, I’m interested in Game of Thrones on BluRay. Again, wicked expensive. Again, the library has them, but I’m trying to get around both availability and return issues.

16 thoughts on “[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, miscellaneous bitses and pieceses of help edition

  1. Greg M says:

    Jay, I have a copy of season 1 that I will never use. It’s a show I should like and just could care less about. It’s collecting dust on the shelf. If you want it, let me know and I can ship it.

    1. Jay says:

      That would be awesome. Thank you.

  2. Laurie Mann says:

    Jay, did the company formally go public? If they did, and you have shares, it’s pretty straightforward. If they never went public, or if they went public and have since gone out of business or been bought out, you might be out of luck. But it might be worth pursuing. My father got a pair of IBM shares a long time ago – that’s now 22 shares due to splitting (and worth about $4,400).

  3. Laurie Mann says:

    On Trazadone (and almost any sleep aid) – some people are pretty resistant to the effects of sleeping pills. When you’re desperate for sleep, you’ll try anything. It even makes you understand the lengths that Michael Jackson went to (and makes you grateful to have an ethical doctor). I found both Trazadone and Temazapan worked a little bit at first, but both stopped working after a few months. Ambien gave me and extra half hour of sleep for 4 1/2 years, but stopped working completely and was murder to get off. Haven’t had any sleep aids for 9 months and am still averaging about 4 1/2 hours a night.

  4. unwyn says:

    When I did chemo, they gave me trazodone and lorazepam. Even in combination it was like a sugar pill. We never could find a pharmaceutical solution to my insomnia.

  5. Jay, there are companies that track down old stocks, specifically for this purpose. I see a bunch of them when I google “old stock search services”. Unfortunately, I don’t have a recommendation for you of which to use.

    If you use any stock brokerage firm, they may well have a department that can do this for you.

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