4th Chemo and Theater

Wednesday, October 5th

I see my best friend from middle school and first year of high school. We lived a lot of episodes of laughters and young teenager chores. Now she lives in Aix-en-Provence. Really close by! We jump on the opportunity to see each other and go shopping. I enjoy to the max knowing that tomorrow I have chemo.

Thursday, October 6th

Time to fight. Round 4.

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I have an appointment with a new doctor. I had 4 chemos and 4 doctors. One different each time. It’s a bit confusing sometimes!

She tells me “Alright. I see here that your white cells are really really low. You are at the edge of aplasia. And you are suppose to do a chemo, which will kill the cells you have left. I don’t understand you didn’t do the Granocyte shots ?

-Yes, I did ! During three days.

-Well, it looks like it’s not going to be enough. I sign off for the chemo this time because I see that your Monocytes are up. Which are basically the same kind of immune cells but are produced faster. So it gives me the indication that they are going up soon. And you will do four days of injections. Do you do them by yourself ?

-No, my dad or a nurse do them.

-Well.. There’s really just in France where easy injections like this are covered by the social security. Don’t you want to do them yourself and help reduce silly health expenses ?

-Huh.. Yeah, sure. If someone can teach me…”

Alright, this doc was a bit cold, not like the others. My dad didn’t like her much to be honest. For me, it’s ok. As long as I get treated, it’s fine!

After an eternity of waiting, it’s finally my turn! Chemo perfusion starts and I have this really nasty metal taste other patients were talking about that I didn’t felt the first two chemo rounds. Well now, I just can’t forget the taste and it makes me nauseous. So I took plenty of candy to fight it with sugar and sweets! Yummy

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At the end of the chemo, I am SO tired. I can barely walk. I feel super weak. I finally somehow succeed to get into the car, with my dad helping me.

Once inside, I start singing a bit over the songs of the radio. My dad, to make me happy, turn up the volume and realize that I actually felt asleep in the middle of a verse. He told me that he laughed a little bit.

Friday, October 7th

I finally get out of my post-chemo coma of the two first days. My friend, Barbara, is coming from Paris to spend the weekend with me. She arrives around midnight. There’s a play at the hospital tonight about cancer, and even though I’m so toasted, I really want to go check it out. I feel it’s gonna be a good surprise!
We arrive 10 min late at the play.

It talks about 3 friends, 3 women young and long-time friends. All having a very different personality. Well, one of them get diagnosed with cancer.
It’s just a beautiful script and really REAL. Not like a Hollywood superproduction. Like what you really go through with your entourage when you got diagnosed. Sarcastic humor, scares and reconsideration of what you do and who you are.
It was really touching and I recognized many moments where I went myself and laughed and cried about it ! It was just too hard to keep myself from feeling and living again those moments! I can tell it was the same for my dad too ! (Probably one of the script writer got diagnosed with cancer herself, which gave her inspiration and real experience to write this play, so it sounds fair)

The play is called Cellule de Crise.
And here a pic of me with the actresses!

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Week in Paris

Sunday, September 25th

I arrive pretty late at the train station in Paris. Paola come get me and we go eat at a restaurant around. Then I go to Mika’s apartment where I stay.
Tomorrow, I have class at 8AM. Like the all the following days (except wednesday).

Monday, I wake up and head to class for 8AM-7PM non stop. There’s even a worse day than that! Thursday, 8AM- 8.30PM! Wow

The challenging part is not only to make it as a long day of class but also to run during lunch break to get my Granocyte injection at a nurse office, next to the school.

After class on Monday, I’m very tired. But I’m pretty proud to have gotten through the day.

Tuesday, I have to start the Granocyte shot series and I’m afraid of feeling painful during class. Finally, it’s hurting but it would be hurting at my house too so I try to ignore the pain and listen to the teacher. I have a bad moment of intense fatigue but it gets better few hours after.

I go home after class to rest and then decide to join some friends at a bar at 10PM to see a band play. The band is really great and the bar atmosphere is cool!

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I last like an hour and half and then go home to sleep at midnight.

Wednesday, I have class a bit later so I take the time to wake up. Friday is coming up fast and I’m supposed to go home in the South right after class.. I text my best friends to meet up at night so I can finally see them.

At night, we meet with Paola and her boyfriend, Jules (my supermate while in California) and Thibaut (a great friend from medical school and later on, my roomate). We laughed so much that night, my ribs were hurting!

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My friends wearing my wig Ha Ha!

Thursday, I am so tired. The shots of Granocytes are not making it easier neither. I’m present in class but my brain is dead. I go home and sleep after it’s over.

Friday, after class I go with Mika and his roomate to a friend’s place in the South of France, not very far from my place, for her bday. In Montélimar.

I was supposed to go home but I negotiated the night off with my parents! We do a nice diner at night and the morning, we go to the farmers market get fresh food for lunch.
After eating, I go home.

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The start of “I don’t know”

This entry is part 1 of 21 in the series Oldest to latest posts

Since January 2016, I’m in Boston. I’m doing a dual master degree with my French university Paris School of Business and with Boston University.

In France, I’m studying accounting, audit and consulting but I like discovering new fields and challenges so I just thought that getting an American master in Financial Economics would be good for me! Especially, since my boyfriend is living in California.

I kinda like Boston. It has its own charm. It is way smaller than NYC thus, it is really easy to just get anywhere plus it has a real history and old architectures mixed with modern buildings. There are also a ton of universities, like 50 of them, including the well-known Harvard and MIT.

A sunday night in late April, I’m watching the new episode of GOT (probably like EVERYBODY else). I touch my throat and feel a lump right above my right collarbone. I find it a bit curious so I touch the same place on the other left side but there’s nothing. As my dad is a doctor, I always find a moment for messaging him and ask silly things about health. I guess I just miss being home and that’s the perfect excuse to get some news.

14087651_10209197241142038_544841528_o-2He responds and say that there is probably nothing to worry about, like a cyst, but that just in case I should go check it out at the clinic.
My mum texts me like almost instantaneously. She is always the worry type, stressing about things (what I eat, how I feel, what I do) but that night, it is more to tell me “Are you sure you are not hypochondriac ? Hi Hi”.
Alright, I get it! I guess getting sick in the US is one of my biggest worry after I learned how much money the health system cost there! However, this time I got my own private insurance covering me 100%. Lucky me!

I decide to go to the hospital. Some nurses take my vitals sign and ask me my motive to visit.I get the physical exam done. The doctor shows me on the echo screen the lump. “You see, it seems liquid inside so it’s probably a cyst or a lymph node. But you told me you got no symptoms so there is no reason to get worry about it.”
He stills make me do a blood test and a chest X-Ray. All clear. I’m waiting few hours in an empty room almost regretting being here. Finally, I get the discharge and I’m able to go home.

The thing is I really feel tired since January, like I can’t manage to wake up early. My classes are all in the late afternoon so for that, there is no issue but I’m trying to get started and study for the CFA exam on June 4th.
You’re supposed to pitch in 300 hours to get through the 2,500 pages of the curriculum to pass. I’m setting alarms at 9AM and every 15mins after that but I still don’t get on my feet before noonish.

 

I blame it on the weather. Boston is pretty cold in the winter (you don’t survive without layers … not really looking sexy like in California huh ) and the heater in the apartment works only halfway… Brrrrrrrr!