May 11, 2010

mephistopholes, part I

After the past two rounds of chemo, it's taken my brother ~7 days to return to a pre-chemo state. He's then granted a reprieve of 14 days of lucidity before the next visit to hell to make a faustian deal with chemotherapy. That will occur a total of 6 times over the course of about four and a half months.  And I wonder, where would each of us draw the line?  One week in exchange for two?  What if it's two weeks for one?  For my brother, it is worth it.  At least it seems that way to me.  After just two rounds, he's forsaken all pain killers - vicodin, morphine, hydrocodone, celebrex, naproxen, even ibuprofen - all of them.  To me, it means the tumors are no longer impinging on other structures to create pain.  But there are four more deals to make with Mephistopholes and his retribution will be greater each time.  If one takes other patients with his disease, most are getting milder chemo and/or only four cycles of it.  I suspect the limiting factor is the ability to endure the chemo.  He's having the equivalent of the Somme thrown at his body with 4 more waves to come. And I wonder, how many of us would be brave enough to make that exchange.....

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