Joe's feeling so fine these days that we are *almost* forgetting about lymphoma, except for his mounting dread as we approach Chemo #2 next Wednesday. He has only a minuscule amount of abdominal discomfort -- .5 on a scale of 1 to 10 -- evidence that the first installment of the Rituxan did its job of attacking those nasty tumor cells and blasting them to oblivion. He is eating pretty much normally, except that spicy food and alcohol are still off-limits. He is sleeping through the night without any sleep aids (more for me, hurray), and really, except for being grossed out by the thought of having to subject his body to this poison again, is doing great.
Oh, and the hair loss has begun. From the bottom up. Who knew? We heard from a dear friend of ours who had the same treatment that Joe should expect to lose it ALL after the second chemo. Joe's response is to plot Halloween costumes that incorporate the hairlessness. He's leaning toward Nosferatu, but I am still holding out for Dog the Bounty Hunter and Beth, with me as Dog, of course.
Joe feels like the effects of the chemo show in his face, that his eyes are more sunken in, that he is more wrinkly, an old man suddenly. I don't see it, he's still as foxy as the first day I laid eyes on him.
For this first cycle it was about a week and a half of misery for Joe -- pills and shots, those damn hiccups for two days, food aversion, sleeplessness, flu symptoms, constipation -- followed by a week and a half of gradual return to almost-normal. But we hesitate to extrapolate anything from this, and fully expect that every time will be a little different, maybe a little worse and harder and more wearing. But we will get through this and come out on the other side, maybe a little more wrinkled, certainly a little bit older, but dang, doesn't that beat the alternative??