Monday, May 13, 2013

Strong Language Alert! Chemo Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Chemo Induced Peripheral Neuropathy – Ah, an old friend that has not been away long enough. MY time without you passed much too quickly until you made and unexpected return to remind me just how far I’ve come and have yet to go. I didn’t miss you at all – fucker!

Weekend fucker!

There I said it. F-bombs! I’m F-bomb happy today – or actually F-bomb unhappy today. What an f-bombed up weekend this was. It started strange, got depressing, and turned out debilitating.

It kind of started on Wednesday, although weekends don’t normally start on Wednesday. I was running like the wind up Kirkwood Highway in Newark, like the wind on a breezeless day. Yeah that’s about right. Anyway I was going for a new super world record and I got this twinge in the back of my leg. Being without any sense I continued to run and this twinge turned into real pain after another minute or two and I ended up hobbling back home. It felt like I had pulled a hamstring, but not really. Anyway I’ve kept off it so far and will give it a walk at lunchtime today. I figured it was just one of those nicks 56-year-old poorly conditioned runners get.

I had the usual maladies I get until Friday when I went to the Relay for Life at Newark High School in Newark, Delaware. Kate and I signed up for the survivor walk at 1900 and a reception at 1730. Earlier in the day I sent a press release to a gagillion people and got a nibble from the Newark Post and Cecil Whig. I did the interview, but the reported wanted to come by at about 1700 to chat and take some pictures.

He got to my house at about 1720 and we chatted in the backyard, because if I let him in the house the headline probably would have said, “Grown Man Overrun With Dogs, Teddy Bears, and Recycling Bags.” Yikes!

It all went pretty well except for Buzz trying to eat his pant leg – several times. What are you gonna do? If the story doesn’t come out good I’ll throw Buzz in the office and hold the door closed. BTW the story is about the incredible book The Long Walk: From Lymphoma to Survivor by celebrated master of sarcasm William J. Potter.

We got to thing a little late, but there was plenty of food there for the royal survivors. It’s like getting VIP treatment and a T-shirt and all you had to do was not die. Kate and I bought one of those luminaria things – you know a white paper bag, with some type of ode on it for one of the cancer fallen, a candles in the bag, weighted down by sand. We bought one in honor of Melissa Torres.

Well, the survivor lap of this thing was set to begin at 1900 and they call all the survivors up to the starting line and proceed to talk and talk, and talk. I understand there are props to render, but don’t call a bunch of neuropathy, waddling cancer survivors up to the starting line and then don’t start anything. Well after and extended introduction of people who nobody knew except for the inner circle of Relay for Life folks we were off. The survivors made their way around the track led by the New Castle County Paramedic, who by the way were superb as Color Guards.

As we wound around the quarter mile people shouted and chaired for us. I was happily taken aback by the number of young people who had dedicated their time to watch a bunch of cancer folks stagger like “Walking Dead” extras around the track. It was cool. They were sincere, joyful, and a pleasure. BTW, I hate young people by-and-large. They’re just so … young.

Kate and I went around a couple of times got our applause for not dying and went home. I was achy all over. I went to bed kind of early after taking a muscle relaxant and Saturday was uneventful. I didn’t do much, but read and go grocery shopping.

Sunday started out weird. I checked my Facebook page and learned another friend of mine is near the end of her cancer journey and will soon die. That makes quite a few people I started with that have ended their journey before. Almost all of them younger.

Kate and I went to Lowe’s and that’s where it happened.

I was pushing my cart and my legs got tingly, and then numb. F-bombing neuropathy. It hurts, numbs, and tortures all at the same time. There is no cure, but waiting it out and letting run its course. The only thing that helps is a foot massage from Kate. I bought my two pieces of wood, went home and sucked my thumb for the rest of the day. By about 1830 it cleared up and everything was working again. It figures, just in time for work.

I guess that’s it for today. More tomorrow.

Peace BIll

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