squeezing drips

It’s called Lifecare 5000, made by Abbott (I’m pretty sure I’ve got a friend who works there…). It makes this strange squeezing noise as the saline/Zofran/Solu-Medrol/Cyclophosphamide/Saline (a final flush to keep me hydrated appropriately? I think?) drips out of the bag perched way up high on the cross-member of the infernal machine. That squeezing noise, I can only assume is the machine pressurizing the line to deliver a calculated amount of medication through a series of tubing, tubing that I likely sold in what now feels like a previous life, through a high-gauge (meaning very small, despite the initial image that may come to mind) needle, into my vein, let loose to circulate and dampen my immune system, I believe by killing white blood cells. Treatment day is a walk-in-the-park compared to how I’m gonna feel tomorrow. And the next day. And likely the day after that as well. But it’s all a means to an end – an end that is, as of now, still unwritten.

The days, weeks, I’d even go as far as to say months, over the past while have not been easy-going. Despite having successfully been diagnosed with CCSVI, having been appropriately venoplastied, I nonetheless dare not trot too far off the beaten path; I’m following the treatment course laid out by my neurologist, but I feel almost as if I’m being backed into a corner–if, at age 27, I’m forced to use antineoplastics to combat this disease, where, oh where do I turn next? What’s gonna be more effective than a cancer drug?

And, of course, it does nothing to help with my nemesis; my Moby Dick; the cerebellar tremors. I hate them. They are the biggest detriment to my quality of life. They are visible to everyone, when I eat, when I reach to shake someones hand, when I try to do something as simple as put my tuque on before leaving the house on a cold winters day (even the nice one with the ear-covers that I can use as handles…). They’re there when I try to pick Diego up off the floor ’cause he’s still too little to jump up onto my lap without digging his little claws into me (not that I have all that much sensation; I still feel sharp & hot, but have a difficult time differentiating between cold & wet – to a degree on both counts). What messes with me even more? This is all starting to be normal. It’s not a normal day if I don’t spend 20-30 minutes picking up things (cereal that I was attempting to pour into a bowl, a partial of the plethora of pills I painstakingly pass from hand to mouth as my arms flutter à la leaf-in-the-wind, the water I spill as I fill my coffee-maker; I can do this all day, but I’d much rather turn to something a little more positive, a lot more uplifting, and remarkably inspirational. But, lately, it feels as though such things have moved beyond my uncontrollably-rocking-back-and-forth-grasp. Every four weeks, I head out at sunrise to an oncology-administration facility (full of doting nurses, might I add–Isabelle, for all your hard work, I thank you, Cheryl, Jackie, Barb, and Sylvie, I doubt I could be in better hands-I only hope this blog post finds its way to you), where for somewhere between 6 and 8 hours, I’m pumped full of poison.

To the tune of squeezing drips.

I hope your lunch-time reading was enjoyable, Stephanie. JT.


11 thoughts on “squeezing drips

  1. Stephanie says:

    Not the most enjoyable subject to read about my dear Andrew; Hearing of your daily sympony of drips that are the soundtrack to your unhappiness. It may sound trite, but dont lose hope. This is what separates you from everyone I have ever known. My shining ball of happy.

    Chin up Andrew or I will be forced to unleash the black ball of bitter upon Montreal and show up at your door.

    JT, JT, and JT!

  2. Tonni DuMoulin says:

    This really friggin’ sucks!!!!!

  3. Alice Cekal says:

    Dear Andrew,

    I cannot believe that all of this is happening to you. It is very sad the way life throws these punches and blows at our very being. However Andrew, you are remarkable in each and every way that you keep on trucking no matter the pitfalls. Don’t lose that beautiful spirit and courage that you have.
    With all our love and prayers.
    Alice and Richard Cekal.

  4. Ruth says:

    Hey Andrew
    You are such a courageous guy. I have been blown away with your brilliant writing, your candor and your incredible honesty.
    You are so much like my son. You are always looking for the upside of everything. No small wonder why you capture people’s hearts.
    You have ours.
    Ruth-Ann and Dan

    • wakingseconds says:


      As always, your kind words are much appreciated. I know we don’t know each other, but I feel a connection forming, despite having never met face-to-face. Keep the good vibes flowing!


  5. Aimee says:

    Just wanted to say I started reading your blog today, partly to get a better understanding of how my mom, who also has MS, lives/struggles. (I put a slash there because they do seem to go hand in hand)..
    This post in particular actually had me shedding a few tears.. I can’t believe how every day tasks that I find so simple and put so little thought into doing because they come so naturally, could be so incredibly difficult for someone like yourself or my mom.
    I just want to say good luck, don’t give up and I’ll be keeping up with your blogs, definitely. My mom’s also been sent the link and so I’m sure you’ll be hearing from her as well.. She doesn’t really know a whole lot of people who can relate to her so I think she’ll find you to be quite and inspiration ( and I think she could really use it) so, Thank you (:

    • wakingseconds says:

      hi Aimee!

      Firstly, thank you so much for your kind words. Try not to cry too hard… I don’t.
      Secondly, your message takes the question: who sent you the link? I’m always curious…

      Thanks again!

      Yours in health,


      • Aimee says:

        Ya, I should have mentioned that.. Mark (from mozza) I work with him and he’s actually been taking to me a bit about your situation for the past few months and just recently sent me the link (:

        So I’ll be keeping up with you.

        Take care,


    • wakingseconds says:

      Hi Aimee I was wondering how your M is doing??

  6. Aimee says:

    P.S KMFDM= awesome 😉

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