Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Got the Blues

I mean this literally. For the past 24 hours, my urine has been blue and my tears have been blue. It's just a lovely side effect of the medication I am taking in an effort to control my MS. The drug is called Novantrone and it is a chemotherapy administered by IV infusion at the oncologist office. At least I only have to go through this every three months. All the other therapies that I've tried have required regular injections at home, as often as every other day. I was becoming a swollen pincushion.

My Novantrone treatment takes about an hour and that gives me plenty of time to reflect on my situation or take a nice nap. I find myself in a big, comfy recliner surrounded by people battling cancer. I think to myself that things could be worse, but I have learned that many of these people feel sorry for me. A woman with Stage Three breast cancer asked why I was there. When I told her I had MS, she said that at least her problem would have some resolution; either it would kill her or she could beat it. With me on the other hand, there would be no such resolution. I would have to continue to live as I am now with the prospect of deteriorating further. Leave it to a person with cancer to cheer you up.

I must admit that it is a surreal experience to look up at the IV poll and see the bag of blue stuff dripping down the tubing and into my arm. It's just not how I envisioned life. Most of the patients don't have a pretty blue medication like me, but one day the older gentleman sitting next to me did. However, his Novantrone was to treat prostate cancer. He asked me if we had the same medication, I said we did and he said that a probably wasn't treating the same thing. All I could think is that I would have to be a hermaphrodite and the thought of someone with MS and such an abnormality seemed rather extreme. I kept the thought to myself. Sometimes, it's best not to share.

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