Looking Inside Of Chemotherapy

August 20, 2014

iscCANCER–The word alone is enough to scare most people. It conjures up scary visions of suffering and mysterious treatments.

Dan was frightened. He wasn’t ready to admit it to anyone yet, but he was really scared. His doctors had told him that he had cancer. They wanted him to start chemotherapy in a few weeks. Today he felt pretty good–a little tired but well, in general. He looked around the waiting room at the doctors’ office. Some of the other patients looked a lot sicker than he did. He could tell that one person with a scarf on her head had lost all her hair. That kid in the corner had no hair, either. His dad gave him a reassuring little punch.

Dan kept overhearing things that sounded terrible. “I was so weak after that last chemo.” Why take medicine to make you feel worse?

And that older woman was wearing a surgical mask. Did she have some strange disease, or was that because of chemotherapy, too? Dan wasn’t too sure he wanted to find out more. But that was why he was here: so the doctors could explain what was happening.

What is Cancer?

Today, the outcome after a diagnosis of cancer is more positive than ever before. Many types of cancer are treatable and seem to be curable. One way to treat and often seemingly to cure cancer is through chemotherapy.

Before we talk about the treatment, let’s make sure we’re all talking about the same thing when we use the word cancer.

Most of the cells in your body grow, then divide, to create new cells. How fast this process happens depends on the type of cell you look at. Bone cells change fairly …