Chemo Round 1 Complete!

Good Day, Stamens and Pistils!

Some folks have been enquiring (thank you), so I thought I would throw out a little update for those who have been following along. It has been a while, and there is some news to report.

The first go-round of chemo is at an end. The treatment consisted of a 7-hour infusion of Cisplatin, 42-hour infusion of 5-Fluorouracil, followed by 10 days of ‘rest’. I am now at day 10, and the process repeats starting tomorrow.

So far, so good, I’d say. Side effects have been minimal so far. Fatigue is certainly one; I find myself struggling to keep moving and stay awake, and my sleep cycle is totally borked. I sleep for a couple of hours, then I am up for a few hours. I still have a fair amount of pain, but that is more due to the size and location of the tumor (it feels like I am sitting with a 10cm golf ball stuck in my dupa). Thankfully, the chemo has not contributed to any experience of pain or disconfort … yet.


I have suffered no loss of appetite or nausea, thankfully. In fact, I seem to be gaining back some of the weight I lost – which is a good thing. However, I am through one round out of eight – so things could conceivably go south at some point. We’ll see.

The one issue of concern is some numbness (neuropathy) in fingers and toes. This numbness is not exactly conducive to practicing guitar. I will be having a discussion with the oncologist *before* hooking up tomorrow. Hopefully there is something that can be done to counteract that side effect. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

*** PRO TIP ***

I did have a short bout with sores in my mouth. When I was a young ‘un, and a trumpet player, I had frequent bouts with kanker sores; one of those silly adolescent allergies brought on by hormones or something. My trumpet teacher, of all people, introduced my to Gly Oxide. Gly Oxide, applied directly to any sores, is like putting neosporin on a cut. It speeds up healing, and reduces discomfort significantly. You can find Gly Oxide near the Anbesol at your local Fred’s Pretty Good Drug Store (eg; pretty much any pharmacy).


As far as not losing any hair … yeah, well – tell that to the shower drain. You’ll be in for one heck of a debate.

Sitting upright in a chair (or any other ‘hard’ surface) is still limited. I can get away with *maybe* two hours at a stretch, if thoroughly rested (see ‘sleep cycle is borked, above). Yeah … achieving a balance is difficult 😀


One of my favorite authors is a fellow named Ken Follett. I was hooked after reading the first book in his ‘Kingsbridge’ series, ‘Pillars of the Earth’, several years ago, and I have read quite a bit of his catalog since then. I am currently reading his ‘Century’ trilogy, which is a fictional yet historically accurate account of the interaction between families from all walks of life from many different countries, through the political and spiritual turmoil of the 20th century, starting just prior to WWI. It is a gripping read, and certainly lends perspective to what we see going on in the world today. I recommend it whole-heartedly.

*** THANK YOU ***

Again – thanks for all the good thoughts and support through this nonsense. You all have made this a lot less scary and formidable. You have no idea how much it has helped keep things positive!

If you are willing and would like to contribute financially, there is a link on my web site. Any amount is extremely helpful at this point.

Here’s the link.

Of course hugs, love, and the occasional ‘hi how are you?’ are greatly appreciated. It’s good to know that someone cares. Drop a line – say ‘hi’. I would love to hear from you.

Stay safe out there kids.


– Matt

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