Chemo time

“The side effects can include nausea, numbness in your feet and fatigue.”

“You mean like last time, like the Imatinib?

“Exactly.  It’s the same family.”

“Then that should be okay.  I didn’t really feel any of those things last time, maybe a little fatigue.”

That was my debrief three weeks ago with the pharmacist up on the sixth floor of the Cancer Clinic.  Finished, she handed me a small vial of pills – one a day for four weeks, two weeks off, then another round.

Clearly, I’m confused about what I feel.  If what I’ve got now is fatigue, what I felt with the Imatinib was nothing, at most a passing bit of trivial tiredness.

This time I’ve got the fatigue, which is a lot more like massive ennui than simple tiredness.

I wake up tired.  I go to the gym tired.  I run tired.  I make dinner tired.  I sleep during movies.  I don’t sleep when I go to bed because I’m too tired.

I don’t feel like doing anything much at all, ever.  I don’t even care what the government is doing.

Well maybe not entirely, but as the fatigue grows I don’t care enough to write about it.  And that’s big.

I was in seeing my pain doctor last week and I talked with her about this as she wrote out my new prescriptions.  She gave me something to look forward to, sort of.

“The two weeks off will give you a chance to recuperate and build your body back up.  Then the MRI and we’ll see what impact there is.”

“It’s a faint hope, isn’t it?

“Yes, faint but there is some.  Otherwise they wouldn’t have approved the trial.”

And maybe that’s it.  My mind is just coming to terms with what my body knows – the big gap between faint and hope.

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10 Responses to Chemo time

  1. Persey says:


    My wife and I are primary caregivers to a close family member currently undergoing chemotherapy, so I have some understanding of what you are experiencing.

    I laud your courage to report to us on your feelings.

    And sincerely wish that you are heavier to hope and lighter on the faint.

    Thanks for all your heavy lifting in the past and in the future.

  2. Garth says:


    I often look at your blog. Firstly because I enjoy your writing and the topics – we do have similar points of view. Perhaps its the gene pool. Secondly, it gives me insight into how you are doing, without my pestering you for info. Persy is correct, you project bravery for bringing issues to the public forum and for allowing some insight into your own journey. I do admire both qualities. Long may you write.

  3. Dennis says:

    I hope the chemicals coursing through your bod do good for you. Your work in informing us of deeds nefarious is muchly needed.
    I had prostate cancer 8 years ago….not the same I know, but the docs thought I beat it partially because of my attitude….something like I’ve got cancer but it dosen’t have me. And I still have my prostate.

  4. Stuart says:

    The government is doing nothing of interest — nothing much is changing. Even though you are tired, you wake up, you run, you go to the gym and you cook dinner. That is two more things than I do. We were pleased to see you running the other day. Your zest, however tired, means much to many. I look forward to your next set of comments — and, yes, the personal is political!

  5. tf says:

    I wish I had something helpful to say, witty to make you smile, wise to buoy your hope – all I have is appreciation for you, your wonderful way of thinking and the way you write it down – thank you.

  6. Julie says:

    Me too Ian. You have a thousand times worth of courage, than anyone I have ever heard of. I just wish stem cell treatment or something would work, to chase that horrible disease out of your body.

    Keep on fighting Ian, we are all pulling for you.

  7. Dan Schubart says:

    I wonder how many of us there are pulling for you. Whether it really does any good or not, it’s still a thought that a ton of people are expressing that wish for a positive outcome. I love what you do and hope to continue enjoying it for a long time to come.

  8. gail reaeny says:

    I cannot begin to tell you how amazing you are to me. I had such an easy go with this dreaded disease. I know everything you talk about but I got off so lucky. HOPE is what this life is about and makes us live each day… we don’t know what is around the corner… I have this crazy idea it is always something amazing and you deserve amaazing. You are my idol, I love your courage, your strength and stubornness long may they Reign, Big Hugs xo, Gail

  9. Jill says:

    Hope is a great thing…..and I hope really good things are around the corner for you. You deserve the best…..keep the stories coming too…….Big Hugs…..Jill

  10. Your courage, wit and humour are inspiring. Your insights are valuable and your posts a must see source. Hang in there!

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