So, I'm about to abandon whatever modesty, dignity and shame I have left to tell you about today's chemo appointment. Why? Well, because what happened today was pretty funny. And also because I can't just talk about the glamorous sides of chemo, like not having to shave my legs or getting to wear hats inside. I also have to talk about the dirty little secrets of chemo....
The deal with chemo is, it is cumulative. What didn't bother you in round 1 might in any other round. So far, my side effects have remained pretty similar. The first and second times I had chemo administered, the nurses warned about the burning anus shot. I laughed because I am a 12 year old boy and anuses are funny but I didn't actually have any repercussions. Well, my friends, that time is over. Oddly enough, today's nurse did not say a thing - perhaps she inadvertently jinxed me. I wasn't looking at the chemo injection (recall the "no look" policy) but all of the sudden I was on a ring of fire. I literally shot out of my seat. Well, levitated, since I was still getting pretty toxic stuff shot into my arm. Paul sort of freaked out and asked me what was wrong, to which I replied "They weren't kidding about that burning anus shot." His response "Seriously! They just gave you that 10 seconds ago." I guess this is why people progress to IV drug use. I cannot believe how quickly the stuff they put in your veins goes everywhere, and by everywhere, I mean to your bum. I said some swear words, and at that point realized just how much English the Korean nurse spoke, as she chuckled a bit. All in all it calmed down in about 5 minutes. Before they were done the treatment anyway. I'm hoping this isn't the sort of side effect that returns later on.
Also, what the hell kind of side effect is that? I know the drug is meant to help with nausea but honestly what the hell is it doing wreaking havoc on my exit bits. I probably don't actually want to know why or how it does what it does. Anyway, if you see my sense of shame, let it know I'm looking for it.
Other than that snafu, the treatment went well. I'm becoming an old pro, as this marks the first treatment that did not involve me crying. My oncologist said I am an excellent patient and handling the treatments well and living my life (as though there is an option not too! That is why I'm doing this in the first place). She also had a good laugh when I asked if I could or should take red ginseng. Her actual response: "Are you Korean?" You see, Koreans believe in the healing power of red ginseng. I am constantly being told by the ladies at work that I should take it. While I'm open to trying new things, I'm also not too keen on putting semi-medicinal herbs into my body without my doctor's say so. She said I should wait until I am done with chemo so it's good I checked.
In parting, I will leave you with a picture from our most recent Embassy event. The new Ambassador hosted a "Happy Hour" and asked everyone to dress in red and blue. The ladies I worked with decided we should take it to the next level. I don't think they anticipated my finding the kind of ridiculous hair bows I did (you can get ANYTHING in Namdaemun) but they were good sports. Most exciting for me: I wore a blue wig. The Koreans at the Embassy LOVED it. People I don't even talk to wanted to get their picture taken with me. I felt a little like a celebrity. I actually quite like this blue hair, I'll have to wear it again.
Also, as I'm sure you have noted: I am a giant here. My sister must come so we can walk the streets and blow peoples' minds.