Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Screw Chemo...

Posted Oct 19, 2008 2:44pm

This morning I woke to meet my new roommate smugly staring me in the face. Introducing “Miffles” – a sloppy acronym I created to name MIld Flu-Like Symptoms, the most minimal initial side effects of chemo. Achy joints, dull head, tired, nauseated. Ugh. She started quietly sneaking in yesterday, and was easily subdued by a light lunch and a couple of pieces of ginger. But by 9 a.m. she was determined to ruin my day. Fat chance. I bypassed the usual cup of coffee, and as water bubbled on the stove for lemon ginger tea, I dug through an unfamiliar pile of drugs that were prescribed for the situation.

So many choices! One med “increases transit time” (i.e. has a laxative effect) so food won’t stay around long enough to bother my stomach. Another is a strong anti-anxiety med, so I’ll conk out and not worry about feeling lousy. I decided on a straightforward anti-nausea med, and within moments I was able to look at toast like it was not the enemy. I am glad I spent some time shopping yesterday to stock up on organic veggies for juicing. As soon as my tummy settled, I concocted my beet-carrot-spinach-ginger brew – it sounds awful, but it has such an energizing kick!

I didn’t think my appetite would be impaired so quickly. It’s a good thing I made a big batch of vegetarian stuffed peppers in the slow cooker last night, because recipes are not my greatest inspiration today. Fortunately, I think these red peppers are going to be irresistible no matter what – stuffed with coconut-ginger quinoa, mango, cilantro, basil and lemon balm. Yum.

If I really were coming down with a flu, I would have spent the day lounging, but knowing that the chemo is trying to get me puts me on the defensive and I want to keep moving. It is a glorious fall day, the perfect temperature with brilliant blue skies and fluffy white clouds. I went for an hour walk around the neighborhood, with a few new detours that time usually doesn’t allow when I’m on a tighter schedule. The Chinese Pistachio trees are turning bright crimson, their tips speckled with dusty turquoise berries. Decorative grasses have gone to seed, and sway to their delicate dance in the soft breezes. The neighbors’ friendly competition with Halloween decorations never fail to make me laugh, and every year there is an expanded population of hanging goblins and creepy creatures. Achy hips notwithstanding, the walk certainly made me feel better, and I’m up to a day of puttering.

Enjoy the sunshine! Love, Laurie