Friday, December 31, 2004

Chemo 3

Yesterday I wore my 'Fuck Cancer' hat to treatment.

Bob got it for me for Christmas. He found it on the web. A woman has a website called Deviant Goods--you can google her (because I'm too lazy to link.) She had a friend diagnosed with cancer and the friend found that the cancer hat market is pretty much saturated with pink and angels. Said friend was not a pink and angelic kind of person, and hence, Deviant Goods was born. She has two kinds of hand-knitted caps. One says 'Fuck Cancer' and the other says 'Chemo Sucks'. I didn't want 'Chemo Sucks'. Me I have made a decision to blame the cancer and think of chemo as helpful. Not neccesarily a likable guy. Kind of the local guide. Like Gollum, in Lord of the Rings.

I can take my cancer hat and wear it inside out if I don't want to flip off the world, and I did that going to the doctor's but then wore it proudly to the amusement of the staff. My doctor had the week off, so I had another doctor, Dr. Makkur, who had to be brought up to speed on the particulars. He was stretched a bit thin covering Dr Schnur's patients and his own but he still took his time with me. (It surprises me how patient they all are.) My white cell count is still hovering at 1400, and Dr. Makkur vacillated on giving me my chemo. Dr. Schnur had given it two weeks before when I was at 1400, hoping that as the Hodgkins comes under control my counts will rebound. If they don't this time, there's a drug that will increase the count.

He decided to give it--which I preferred, honestly. I promised him to be, not housebound, but to lay a bit low and avoid people with germs. So if you have germs, please wash your hands before reading this blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Maureen,

Recently showered so I should be pretty well germ free... And thanks to you relatively sure that what I have is whooping cough. I wish I'd known when the cough was so horrendous, it's next to nothing now. Interestingly, I find that the sympathy level from friends is really high for this - as most people think of it as a 'killer' disease. I feel guilty so I have to tell them to check out the web site and that its really no big deal. Of course the 8-10 days I coughed my lungs up and didn't sleep are into that distant memory phase, I can easily say that I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Tom told me about this blog - its the first I've ever seen, what a cool thing.
I read most if not all of it and I can see that you have many wonderful people who care very much about you. And as we are amoung those lucky enough to know and love you I had to throw in my two cents worth.

I really wanted to see if any of the oncology nurses or doctors mentioned using visualization techniques for your white blood cell count. I have a wonderful friend that was an oncology nurse for many years (she now does hospice), she often shared her work stories and one of the things they did was teach patients to visualize their bodies making more white blood cells after chemo treatments. Naturally, children were best at it, but she said it makes a difference.
As you know, when Stephanie was born, the doctors didn't hold out any hope for me to live, but I visualized platelets being made and the clots dissolving. Now I get to be a medical miracle =o .

If you continue to post the times of your chemo treatments, and want to try these techniques, we can also do visual meditations for you (and anyone else out there can too, the more the better) It would be great to have you be able to recover quicker from each treatment.

That being said, I've often wondered if this ability only kicks in during times of crisis - because it hasn't worked for losing weight :{

Hugs to you all,
Julie Kastan

December 31, 2004 2:07 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I'm washing my hands before going on to any more messages. And sending you good thoughts-

Pamela in Oregon

December 31, 2004 5:11 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

In the words of Liza Doolittle, "I worshed me 'ands an' face before I come."

Maureen, I hope this round does its job without too much disruption to you, and that the New Year brings you love, good work, and lots of Good Health!

December 31, 2004 7:22 PM  
Blogger Responsible Artist said...

That Fuck Cancer hat isn't something everyone can wear.



December 31, 2004 7:57 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...


They sent me a meditation CD so when I meditate, I'll just meditate on all those white blood cells forming.

Leslie, actually anyone can wear a 'Fuck Chemo' hat:

(but I get your drift.)

December 31, 2004 8:25 PM  
Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

So how did everyone like the hat?

January 02, 2005 12:44 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

I think they liked the hat just fine. The doctor would get all involved in asking me specific things and then he'd go to look in my ears and he'd grin and shake his head.

January 02, 2005 4:50 PM  
Blogger Responsible Artist said...

I love it. Also love the devil bunny slippers.

While we're talking Fuck____, I was carrying my Fuck Bush handbag for a while until the U's abd the B fell off, and people started getting too confused by what I was saying. There's nothing worse than playing Wheel of Fortune with Fuck Bush as your slogan. Well, there are worse things, but that's up there.


January 05, 2005 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I found your site randomly through looking up cancer info. My brother just recently died this summer from lymphoma. I wish you all the best in the world and hope that you are soon free of such an aweful disease.
Fuck cancer is right.

October 01, 2005 7:45 PM  

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