My body literally and figuratively has been splitting in two over the past few months. And while I wonder if the feel good or the feel bad parts of the changes is winning, I can’t but help worry what the short-term outcome is going to be when I get my first progress report on Tuesday.
On the non-harmful side of changes right away I noticed my hair falling out on my head and my beard ceasing to grow. Bring on the seemingly obligatory shaved head, oh you must have cancer look. I don’t mind it so much though my eyebrows have taken a hit too. More so I now have a mostly smooth belly and I have silky smooth spots on my legs as well. Hair & skin has taken the brunt of the side effects, which is normal, while my face and neckline is spattered with acne of a 15 year old.
The other side effect has been the result of platelets taking a major hit as the chemo cycle peaks. This has been met by nosebleeds. They have been manageable to a point that I have not lost any clothing or bedding due to the episodes. In all though its been mostly a nuisance and use of a lot of tissue paper. Spinach and Vitamin K supplements have helped, but I while upping the ante the numbers have held well at the end of the recent cycle. I’m winning that battle.
The bad parts have been the unpredictable bowels movements or lack thereof. Lately its been what has seemed to be perhaps the weakening of the stalwart of my being; those invincible tree trunk legs of mine have been taking a toll from likely the deficit of protein in my diet. Believe me I’m trying to keep up the 80 grams of protein a day (all the jerky, milk, and gyros, oh my!). My numbers still show I’m out of range for protein despite my efforts. I am putting on weight, but my sugar cravings have probably attributed to that. I went from eating sugar sparingly to ridiculous proportions. My blood sugar is still eh, about 80 non-fasting. 🙂 This week especially I noticed my legs being sore and slow. Ironically, work is just about to start a walking incentive program that would earn some fairly significant dollars. You are to walk 400,000 steps over 2 months which averages out to over 7,000 steps a day. Currently without really trying, I’m averaging about 9,000 steps a day (according to my iPhone). If this soreness doesn’t go away in the upcoming week I may need your assistance to stay strong. My other concern is perhaps the early sign of neuropathy. My hands/fingers are shaking a bit, or they (usually a finger) move without command. They warned me about tingling from effects of the drugs and I haven’t experienced that. As much as I write and type at work at home, the impairment of my hands scare me the most.
In the good camp the most encouraging point is my appetite. It’s back. There are still a few foods I still fret about; I’m still drinking very little beer/alcohol, but my when people see me eat again they wonder really if there is anything at all wrong with me. My numbers are good, I still go to work full-time with full mental and physical capacity. My tumor markers are crazy low (202 U/mL) after being crazy high (40,000+ U/mL). The doctor seemed very encouraged in my last visit, and I do hope they are reflected in the scan on Tuesday.
I think about both sides of the results and how to prepare emotionally. There really is no way to guess or predict, but only wait till the facts are presented. You know I get impatient awaiting an Amazon delivery. This period till next week needs Prime in the worst way.
I’ll keep you posted.