This chapter was inspired by a conversation with a neighbor who was describing the difficulties of her friend who was taking the chemo road. She commented,
“Sometimes they get so angry and mean, you know…” .
That sparked a memory of a really baffling aspect of John’s chemo: he often seemed unreasonably euphoric on the drive home after a four-hour infusion….
The second aspect of John’s puzzling behavior was what my neighbor was referring to: the rages. They were extreme and had an uncontrollable quality to them that was unlike anything I’d seen in 40 years of marriage…
How I figured out the cause of these mood swings, verified my suspicions with an oncology pharmacist, and learned to deal with them is the topic of the remainder of this chapter in Shedding Light on the Cancer Journey, my newly-published E-book now available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3331M
I can’t tell you what a huge relief it was for both of us to understand what was going on with the mood swings. It was infinitely preferable to wondering if the cancer was moving into John’s brain or if he was in the process of losing that brilliant mind that was such a part of who he was.
The somewhat disturbing aspect of this deduction on our part was that it was very probable that we would have never reached this basic understanding without my hospice background AND my extensive note-taking. It is horrifying to think that other cancer patients and their families suffer through these alarming changes with no understanding of what is happening. For all you chemo patients out there: I’m hoping to shed some light on your journey.
This and much more about this cancer journey that can only be learned through hard experience is now available in an easy-to-search format that can be read on any PC or Mac, Kindle, Blackberry, Ipod Touch, Ipad or Android. The reader interface is available free from Amazon and is downloadable in seconds.
One simple question was my guidepost and motivation in writing this book: how can what we learned– about the medical system, dealing with arrogant doctors, about the treatments and side effects, about coping, pain control — how could I present all of that in a way that might be helpful to other cancer patients?
I will make no profit from the sale of this book. All proceeds will go towards the support of the 400 monks, nuns and yogis in the seven Tibetan monasteries of Tulku Orgyen Zangpo Rinpoche, who have devoted their lives towards building the foundation for peace and freedom from suffering for all beings in this world. It was their prayers and the gentle guidance of Tulku Orgyen which so profoundly influenced John’s ultimately serene death.