Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two Down, Two to Go

Posted Nov 7, 2008 12:28pm

Yesterday was chemo #2, and I just like last time, I felt fine during, after and today. I was a little queasy this morning, but the Psi Wrist Bands took care of that, and I haven’t had to take any anti-nausea meds. The only new thing is that I tend to get the feeling of a lump in my upper chest after eating or drinking – no pain or heartburn, it just feels weird. So I eat/drink slowly, small amounts at a time, chew everything very well, and kick up my pre-meal doses of digestive enzymes and probiotics, which really help. Oh yeah, and a couple of my fingernails are getting some deep vertical splits. Any suggestions? (Can’t do anything that glues on.)

My blood counts are good; I’m going in this afternoon for an injection to keep the white cells up, so we don't anticipate the problems with infection that happened last time. The red cell counts are borderline, so they recommended at least extra vitamin C, and/or a good iron supplement. I have Hemagenics on hand for the occasion; it is a form of iron that does not cause constipation like most of the others do. I am so delighted that both the oncologist and the nurses are well educated about chemo and nutrition. The staff I had gone to for the first opinion was entirely against supplements, and in favor of high levels of medication. Obviously, not my people…

I brought my portable DVD player to the chemo session, which helps the time pass very quickly. I saw a wonderful movie yesterday - Kinky Boots (Netflix). I was laughing so much everyone around me wanted the name of it. I thought it would be a totally chick-flick, but it was so fun that Dave & I watched it last night; he really enjoyed it, and I liked it as much the second time around. It’s uplifting, silly and quite moving.

During my session, I met a lady that is 84 and has been doing chemo on and off since 2005. Her hair fell out, grew back, fell out again, so she just plops on a wig as needed. In the meantime, her husband died, they found another mass in her lung... and she is handling it all amazing well. The stories of everyone I have met have been so inspiring. I document my symptoms mostly for the benefit of those that follow, so they can know what to expect; I certainly have nothing to complain about.

She said her daughter took her to the first several chemo sessions, but now she just drives herself! So I told Dave if she can do it, I certainly can!! I feel good going in, good coming out, so why not? I had booked out of the office for the day, but since this is the second time I have not felt any significant effects after chemo, I’ll just plan to work my regular hours after the next two.

I felt so good after my session yesterday, that I ran errands, did some grocery shopping and made a giant vat of the carrot slaw (recipe from the chef in Provincetown!) Unfortunately, the grater attachment on the Cuisinart was broken so I had to peel and grate 4 quarts of organic carrots by hand on my old cheese grater – you know, the rectangular metal thing with that handle on the top that grates skin as effectively as cheese?? Culinary tip – for the grating-by-hand process, wear heavy-duty rubber gloves to prevent the inadvertent addition of knuckle-protein slivers. Better yet, invest in the attachment for the food processor. I did half the other day, and the other half yesterday to avoid carpal tunnel!! Nonetheless, it was certainly worth the effort! Of course, we have enough to last the next several weeks, but the flavor mellows over time, and it is absolutely delicious. We promised not to post the recipe publicly, but if you are feeling especially ambitious, just email me and I’ll share it with you.

Have a fabulous weekend, and thanks for all the head decorating!!!!!
Love, Laurie