Chemo Treatment #1 in the books

Yesterday was my first chemo treatment.  As I said before, I opted for the strongest amount of chemicals along with the toughest protocol of  three weeks in a row treatments.  Probably will be tougher on my body, but let’s hope & pray it is also tougher on the cancer tumor.  What we want is shrinkage ….. OK, I can see all the Jerry Seinfeld fans chuckling!

This photo is of my new neighborhood on Monday afternoons for three months.  It actually was much larger than I thought it would be, with about 25 places for patients to sit, recline and have IVs delivered.  The best part is getting to talk to others around me and get pointers as they are much more knowledgeable than I am regarding hints to make this disruptive process easier.  Doctors don’t go into simple little

Chemo2

things that they share, and that I will share to others as I learn the “ropes” about what to expect etc.  I know it is hard for many of you to believe that I am comfortable talking to strangers!  I’ve done that for a living for 35 years in over 190 countries now, so I hardly ever meet a stranger in my life.

After the chemo, I wasn’t sure how I would feel, but I felt strong enough to take Connie to Panera Bread where I had a salad.  AND, I had a treat — a chocolate chip cookie!!!  One of my favorite things always in the world.  I am no longer eating ANY sugar (cancer loves sugar!)  so I said — one cookie I can have.  It has been over three weeks since I have had any sugar, so I enjoyed it so much.  Please, please, please don’t anyone send cookies — I can NOT eat them,  This was just one treat to celebrate my first chemo attack on cancer.

Got home and rested all evening and then last night slept — ready for this— 12 hours!  And I may take a nap this afternoon.  The chemo did take a lot of energy away, but I have had no nausea and no fever.  That is good indeed.  I soon will lose my hair probably, but I will miss more if I lose my taste buds.  That will be tough to force myself to eat to keep weight on (yes, I am now trying to keep weight after losing a lot in the last month) when I can’t really taste the food.

Funny, food has been one of the joys of my life as I have traveled to so very many great places, great cities, great restaurants.  I know people that travel to China and then order a New York Strip steak…. seems like they miss a lot of the experience of traveling and trying new things.  A lot of my friends have commented for years I should have had a travel TV show like “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”.  While my personality may have been fairly good for it (who knows), I think personally I would have wanted to shoot pictures & video rather than talk on camera in these exotic places!  National Geographic once contacted me to do an hour long travel once a month tv show, but I wasn’t interested because I know you are NEVEr done with that.  I know that once you finish one, you start on the next and the pressure is always there to do the next one.  I wanted — and still do — the freedom that comes from being more free in travels and less deadlines.

Getting back to my treatments, I am one done and unknown number ahead.  I am glad that some of you are traveling this unfamiliar  road with me.  Again, I so value the prayers and warm thoughts and emails.  I can’t see people yet, as I really need the rest.  But I can tell you, I read the emails & FB comments and it does my heart good indeed.  I send a warm big hug from a tall photographer that cares for each of you also.