Last week of treatment now underway!

Back in the hospital again for my last week of inpatient radiation and chemo.

Last week at home was probably my most down point yet. My mouth and throat got progressively more sore over the week and my mouth was very dry, all of which combined to make eating a real chore. My energy is also very low, so I spent a lot of time sleeping.

My concentration has also been really fleeting – it’s rare that I can get through reading an entire page without losing the thread, if not dropping off to sleep.

Luckily, we were fortunate to have good friends around for most of the week. Jody was out from D.C., and Ed came in from Seattle – a huge shot out to both of them for all the help they gave us in addition to the invaluable friendship and emotional support. My cousin Wendy was in town from London to celebrate her mom’s 92nd birthday, so we got to see both of them, My old friend and klezmer-mate Brad breezed through on his way to a family bar-mitzvah, and Bryn came over and hung out for an evening. All that combined to make it feel not so bad, and sped the week along. By Sunday morning I started to feel a little better, and Michele and I got out for a nice walk along the lake before I had to check back in.

Now I just have to get through this week and then I can start the recovery process. I’m told that the first two weeks after treatment ends can be hard ones, but that people generally start to feel a little better three or four weeks out.

New music I brought to check out this week:

Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio
Esperanza Spalding, Radio Music Society
Jack DeJohnette, Sound Travels
Punch Brothers, Who’s Feeling Young Now

If you’re in the neighborhood, come on by and visit! I’m in Mitchell Hospital, room TS-661.

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8 thoughts on “Last week of treatment now underway!”

  1. Hey Oren-
    I said this to you when I was in Chicago but I also want to say it ‘out loud’ to your friends and family who may not have had a chance to spend time with you during your time in treatment:

    Spending a few days with you was an absolute inspiration to me and a testimony to your incredible resolve, focus, and strength of character. I know you were miserable most of the time I stayed with you and Michele. I know that the pain and fatigue of your treatment had really caught up with you, and that eating, and even swallowing, had become a major challenge. I had expected to encounter the hard part of your treatment during my visit.

    But what really struck me most during my time with you was your attitude and your resolve to take this a step at a time; day by day; always keeping your eye on the end result: being cancer-free. You even managed to keep your sense of humor intact.

    You’ve set an example for all the people who love you. All of us will face health challenges as life goes on. I hope that I will be able to carry myself, when the time comes, with the same kind of grace, tenacity, and strength you have demonstrated over the past few months.

    Hang in there Brother. Eyes on the Prize.

    Much love and great respect.

    Ed

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  2. One day you will look back on this time and, with any luck, not remember anything about it except all that good love from friends and family. Saying hi from Paris and #ietf83, proof that there will be much fun post-treatment.

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  3. Hope this week goes well, Oren, and delighted to hear it’s your last week of treatment. You’ll be well and back on your feet in time for the summer. Keep your eye on the finishing line – you’re very close.

    Very best,

    Mairéad

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  4. I second what Ed said. Even though we haven’t been out to see you Oren, it’s very clear you are approaching this challenge with characteristic hope, humor, and self-contained focus and strength.

    You rock! We’re thinking of you.

    Jeanie

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  5. I’ve been thinking of you often, Oren, and hope you’re doing well. It’s awful that radiation and chemo make you feel worse before you feel better. Lots of good thoughts and positive karma coming your way from your friends in Texas and California!

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