Friday, February 5, 2010

F-U, plural

Chemo #3 has been fine. I started my Avastan drug. YEE-HAW.

I'm a little tired, and I'm feeling the side effect called "neuropathy", which is where your fingers feel incredibly sensitive to cold. Putting them in the fridge for a few moments results in the same feeling as submerging your hand in an icy bucket for 3 minutes on a dare. If you've ever tried that. The same is true of cold liquids-- everything needs to be room temperature or it's just intolerable. Neither of which is a big deal if you're a little careful.

I'll tell you what IS a big deal. You remember how I told you I have to wear an "infuser" of chemo medicine home with me for 48 hours after I leave my chemo appointment? (if not, read the first post on here, to get an idea of what chemo entails). This infuser comes in two forms: a plastic tube that you can tuck discretely in your pants or shirt, or a BLACK FANNY PACK with the medicine inside, beeping each time it dispenses a new drip. Naturally I demanded the tube infuser. But this time they sent me home with the FANNY PACK. Which I have to wear for 2 days! GEEES, as if this whole experience isn't already fun enough. I went to the PCC (grocery store) today to buy some beets and I tied my coat around my waist so no one would see it.

The COOL part about this is the name of the medicine inside. It's called flourouracil, but no one actually calls it that. The common name for it is "5 F-U". When they told me that, I was like, "For real? This chemo medicine is called 'FIVE F-U'?" Could that be any cooler, or any more aligned with how I feel about it all?

Not just one "F-U", but FIVE.

It almost sounds Chinese, in its simple, truthful beauty.


  1. 5 FU? SERIOUSLY? well, it does capture the sentiments of many, i'm sure, who have worn such a fanny pack. what I'M intrigued by, in addition to the 1984 nylon (hopefully) fanny pack, is the purchase of beets at the store. Very interesting. And did you buy other things, besides beets? Or was it a 'hit the beat' store run? (oh dear). anyways, loved the update and am really glad that you're feeling as F-U as ever, or maybe even 5 times as much...

  2. Sarah Hall here...One of Scott's friends from the class of 1994...not sure if you remember who I am, but I am sure he has some terrible tale that will jog your memory if need be. :)

    I feel I have to weigh in on the fanny pack! Sure, the very notion of the fanny pack is abhorrent. But the actual pack can be a beautiful thing! Just WORK IT! Sure, the fanny pack is easy to mock, but this can be one of those things that lets you play the cancer card!

    Let me show you what I mean.

    "I see you admiring my fanny pack. JEALOUS?!"
    "Uh, well...I guess you could say it's a look I haven't seen in a while."
    "Yeah. Not pretty is it? But I friggin' love this thing because it's delivering medicine that is KILLING MY CANCER. So maybe suck on that and think before you judge."

    Clearly, a very imagined conversation, but fun to think about putting it into action, right?!

    Keep it up, Shelly! There are so many of us rooting for you to kick this thing where it counts.

  3. Shelly, I just want to tell you how much I am enjoying your account. I feel weird using ~enjoying~ given the circumstances, but you're such a witty writer that it's the most appropriate word. Thank you so much for keeping us up-to-date on the state of your body, mind, and soul. It is wonderful also to see the comments here from your host of loving, supportive, and often funny friends. I wish this blog never had to exist, but now that it does, it certainly makes my surfing time much more rewarding.

  4. I have always loved 5 FU for the very reason you have recently discovered. It feels good to order it as a physician on the patients behalf, too.

    Yup, 5FU for this lady.
    Yeah cancer, that is what I think about you.

    Expletives never felt so productive.

  5. Hi Shelly!! Max had the exact same cold intolerance symptoms, and they always wore off after a couple of days, but did recur with each infusion. And his "fanny pack" had to be on his shoulder. I can only imagine how well you are rockin' that pack!! How many of these treatments will you do--seven, before switching to a different regimen?

    You and Max are KICKING CANCER'S ASS....I KNOW it!!!


  6. My mom got her F-U fanny pack yesterday. I kept laughing about the fanny pack but she didn't seem to get the joke. Oh, lord. (but she did laugh at the F-U part once I pointed it out to her!)