Wednesday, July 9, 2008

With Apologies to the Passover Haggadah

The Four Questions according to Elyse:

Why is my cancer treatment different from all other cancer treatments?

1. All other treatments that include radiation and chemotherapy run them consecutively. Why are my treatments concurrent?

2. All other chemotherapy treatments are administered every 21 days. Why are mine weekly?

3. Many cancer patients do not lose their hair. Why must I?

4. Typically, cancer patients receiving chemotherapy have ports. Why don't I?

The Answers:

Questions 1 and 2 - The answers seem obvious. I am receiving VAT. Very Aggressive Treatment. There are clearly physical challenges associated with VAT. For one, I have to be at St. Jo's every weekday. Thursdays are out due to chemo, Fridays are iffy, and Saturdays and Sundays are rough. So that just leaves Mon-Tues-Weds. With chemotherapy every 7 days, it leaves very little time for me to make concrete social, work and exercise plans. I have been told that patients on the 21 day chemo cycle can have good weeks between treatments.

Question 3 - Fine Georgia Whine. Move on.

Question 4 - Dubovsky indicated that he intended to avoid any unnecessary invasive procedure. I like to think he is being optimistic, but that is only my speculation.

In short, not every day, or every part of the day is great. The ultimate planning machine is now barred from one of the things she does best. But in some intangible ways my strength is growing. I know that I have the resolve to beat this, and at times I can actually feel that determination. And do not discount, for even a single second, that every email, get well card, helping hand, telephone call, blog comment, and virtual and real hug that I receive does not fuel that strength.

So I take my little steps and move forward. I have been resting up all morning, I will get my radiation treatment, and I will get in one more nap before the concert tonight.

I know it's only Rock and Roll (ha!), but I like it. Thank you for helping me get there.

With love, and more apologies to Mick and crew,

Elyse

11 comments:

Ann said...

Elyse,
Having spoken to you today, I know you are tired, but actually feeling a bit better. So, the VAT as you put it is maybe a good thing, and the way to go here. Obviously the doctors know best, and we'll leave it to them to decide how to handle things. Just know that right now you have over 100(!!!!!) helping hands signed up and there are probably people out there who don't know about it or don't know how(the helping hand virgins like the virgin bloggers(I was one before all of this!) And since you filled your comments with apologies, in the spirit of music, since you are going to hear some tonight, with apologies to ABBA, just know that you are forever my dancing queen! Love ya and feel good.
Ann

Anonymous said...

We all woke up today. That is something to each be thankful for every day. That is trite and seems like bullshit, but it is really an important accomplishment for each of us. No matter what else may have gone wrong yesterday, we woke up today.

Somewhere, on some dusty plain in the dakotas, wyoming, or somewhere, this clumsy large man will get on a bike and ravel 50 to 100 miles with Amy.

Lord help us all.

Joe Rosen

Forrest said...

Elyse,

I have been away in FL and just got back to catching up on your blog. I had signed up for a lunch but got bumped because it was on a Thursday. Now the schedule is full...you've got lots of buds. Glad to hear you are hanging in there and even going to a concert! I hope you enjoy it. I would never have guessed your age! You seem so much younger. I know many NFBA members have asked about you. Good luck tomorrow.

Lorie said...

Rock on, girl! Rock on!

Have fun tonight...hey VAT also stands for value added tax...maybe we could work with that somehow?

Angie said...

Hey Elyse,
Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and hoping very much you have made it to the concert!!! Have fun tonight and feel good. My thoughts and prayers are w/ you daily.
Love,
Angie

Anonymous said...

Have fun when you can, and when you are down, keep being determined to beat it. I know treatment is a drag, but it is better than the alternative. I"ll be glad when all the treatment is over and you can join our ranks of the "survivors".

Our love is always with you, John and Brent.

Joyce &n Fred

david said...

Elyse, There is no road taking that is not without obstructions, no road that leads anywhere without a hazard, and no unseen turn that provides fair warning. Although it is easy more me to say, I know that every day is a day that you take another step towards beating down that unwanted visitor in your body and as you wage the battle, each day you believe in your ability to take control, you win another daily battle, and eventually win the war. Very few appreciate the Boss like you and I do, so I thought it fitting to apply the teaching and eloquence of Bruce the Preacher, from my favorite anthem, to your battle that you will win:

Well I believe in the love that you gave me,I believe in the faith that could save me, I believe in the hope
and I pray that some day
It may raise me above these . . .

Badlands, you gotta live it everyday
Let the broken hearts stand,
As the price you've gotta pay,
Keep pushin' till it's understood and these badlands start treating us good.

For the ones who had a notion,
a notion deep inside
That it ain't no sin
to be glad you're alive
I wanna find one face
that ain't looking through me
I wanna find one place,
I wanna spit in the face of these badlands

David

david said...

Elyse, There is no road worth taking that is not without obstructions, no road that leads anywhere without a hazard, and no unseen turn that provides fair warning. Although it is easy for me to say, I know that every day is a day that you take another step towards beating down that unwanted visitor in your body and as you wage the battle for each day you believe in your ability to take control, you win another daily battle, and eventually win the war. Very few appreciate the Boss like you and I do, so I thought it fitting to apply the teaching and eloquence of Bruce the Preacher, from my favorite anthem, to your battle that you will win:

Well I believe in the love that you gave me,I believe in the faith that could save me, I believe in the hope
and I pray that some day
It may raise me above these . . .

Badlands, you gotta live it everyday
Let the broken hearts stand,
As the price you've gotta pay,
Keep pushin' till it's understood and these badlands start treating us good.

For the ones who had a notion,
a notion deep inside
That it ain't no sin
to be glad you're alive
I wanna find one face
that ain't looking through me
I wanna find one place,
I wanna spit in the face of these badlands

David

Steve Beagle said...

Hey Ali - hope you are feeling ok enjoyed the show last night. Keep rope a doping... love Steve

Today's joke topic is optimisim and pessimism prior to hitting a few topical late nighters:

Remember, whenever one door closes, another slams in your face.

You should always borrow money from pessimists. They don't expect it back.

I believe for every drop of rain that falls... someone gets wet.

What's a pessimist? A well informed optimist.

Today maybe the first day of the rest of your life, but on the other hand it is the last day of your life so far.

Pessimist: a person who looks both ways when crossing a one-way street.

_____________________________

President Bush is was in Japan for the G-8 summit. Again, another kind of embarrassing incident at dinner. I guess President Bush sent his sushi back because it was cold.

Osama bin Laden’s teenage son, Timmy bin Laden, has released a poem calling for the destruction of America and the killing of all its allies. Imagine a kid writing something like that. Here’s my question: Where are the parents?

The Democratic Party announced this week that Barack Obama will give his acceptance speech at an 80,000-seat stadium and that they will not serve fried food at the Democratic Convention. Which begs the question, Where are they going to find 80,000 Americans who don’t eat fried food?

Yesterday at the G-8 summit, President Bush met with the prime minister of India. There was an awkward moment when Bush told the Indian prime minister, “I think I’ve been in your taxi.”

Big birthday news today — O.J. Simpson turned 61-years-old and he had a party with all his friends. There were no survivors.

In a new interview, 17-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears talks about her new baby and that she can’t wait to be a soccer mom. Actually Jamie Lynn is already a soccer mom because she’s the only mom on her high school’s soccer team.

Kurt Kegel said...

Elyse,

I just received the teamdream2009 info from Amy Waggoner and learned of your fight through the link. I know it has been sometime since you and I have talked, but I was deeply saddened to learn of your battle with lung cancer. For those of us not fighting that battle on a day to day basis, I am sure that we can only begin to imagine your struggles. Please know that you will be in our thoughts and our prayers as you push on and ultimately presevere in this struggle that life has thrown your way. And always remember that, as only another cancer survivor put it:

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

Lance Armstrong.

Keep up the good fight and hope to see you soon.

Kurt Kegel

Carolyn Dinberg said...

Hi Elyse,
I'm responding to a few of these blogs, awed by your amazing writing and contemplating its therapeutic value. To your family, friends, acquaintances and anyone else reading through this blog who you make feel are an integral part of your recovery, and in doing so make all of us feel better. So, that is your "down time" calling--to be a writer. Because your writing has made it our journey, from your closest friends to those in the wider circle. Because in putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, you are facing and posing questions that strike chords in all of us. And you especially might as well write, because it sounds like I won't be able to get you to needlepoint Ariana's Siddur cover for me now that she is entering 2nd grade!

We recently returned from upstate NY, where, among other activities we went to a horse show where Bruce Springsteen's daughter was participating. As she has in past years, she won her class. With grace and humility (and a beautiful horse) and the same long skinny nose as her Dad. I may have to send you a picture we took of her, with a look of determination on her face going over a jump. Perhaps a new inspirational moment will come to you!

All the best thoughts still coming your way…Carolyn