Whole New World, Part Eleven

Friday, I visited with the Survivalist, and I am, as I said elsewhere, much encouraged in the path going forward.

We discussed many things; she listened my concerns in re the side effects of the  medication that will be my constant companion for the five, or maybe ten, years.  We talked about the fact that Everyone Is Different, that some people have Very Bad Side Effects, some have No Side Effects, and some have small, easily managed side effects.  The plan is to pay attention and if anything arises which I find unacceptable, I’m to call, and the medication will be tweaked.

There is a recommended adjustment of diet — not, as it turns out, so very much a departure from the Usual Proceedings, though we eat more meat and less fish than suggested.  I’ve made an arrangement with Sun Basket (one of the meal delivery services that offers meals based on the Mediterranean Diet) for every other week, so that we can both get started on the new program, and properly use up the supplies in-house.

Eventually, I will need to lose 7-10 pounds, which has been my life for the last 10 years or so.  In theory, the new plant-based diet will help with that.

Also, I need to increase my in-home exercise program, gradually, as the ray-gun wounds heal more fully.  This was offered as a suggestion, but was already on my list, going forward, so the doctor and I were in happy agreement.

All that really remains on my plate is to finish healing.  I do need to keep reminding myself that healing after multiple strong insults to the physical plant takes time.  It’s my tendency to associate feelings of exhaustion and dullness as depression, and at the moment, that may not be true.  Resting when I feel tired, instead of Pushing Through, is a newish thing, and I have to resist the feeling that I’m somehow cheating when I do.

Otherwise — Life Goes On.  In which event I am extremely lucky.  That being so, I believe I will now close this series of essays.  I hope that some of the information might have been helpful, and I thank everyone who kept with me during the whole adventure and cheered me on.

You guys are awesome.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

9 thoughts on “Whole New World, Part Eleven”

  1. One of the things my Mum had trouble getting her head around was painkillers. She was used to toughing it out and taking fewer painkillers than most. Her oncologist actually yelled at her (well, not volume-wise) about not taking the painkillers as often as she should. Cancer forces a lot of re-assessments of How We Do Things.

    I am very glad you are OK.

  2. On Friday, my dad celebrated thirty years of being cancer-free after radiation treatments related to advanced prostate cancer. I wish you a similar happy outcome. (And he had to learn to take pain killers, too.)

  3. My mother mentioned that things tasted differently while she was on chemo, and that it took a while for her taste buds to reset even after she completed that portion of her treatment. Be patient with yourself if your comfort foods seem off.

    If you’re going on a more Mediterranean diet, she was also told that broccoli was particularly good for a breast cancer survivor, for what’s it’s worth. I believe you can get it as a supplement if you don’t care for the taste. Be well.

  4. You sound remarkably sane and resilient on the healing front. I hope things continue gradually on the healing and health front with more progress and less trauma. Best wishes, and thank goodness.

  5. Every friend of mine who has had radiation therapy reports that fatigue is cumulative. Be kind to yourself. You will regain energy and stamina.

  6. Even a year after surgery and radiation, I was unable to do my favorite hike in Grafton Notch (north of you) without being literally pulled and pushed up the path by my long-suffering siblings. But then when I returned a year later (2 years after surgery) and 10 pounds lighter, I was able to do it without any assistance beyond the use of a single hiking pole for balance. This tells us that 1) it takes time to heal and recover, and 2) that healing and recovery really does really happen! What I had initially thought was a death sentence instead became a commonplace part of my life. All the best for all your future endeavors!

  7. Radiation treatments DO sap your energy. When I went through rads after lumpectomy I tended to mentally discount that fact. And of course it was tax season so I was busy. Naps in the Command Chair accompanied by one of the cats sound like a good thing to me. (After exercise, of course) And do keep up the creams the docs have recommended; I didn’t use them long enough and had some itching & dry skin. We signed up for a CSA share this year and we are really eating a lot more vegetables because of that, which is surprising because most nights we ate vegetarian before the CSA. I’m figuring out how many ways there are to cook kale! (Lots of kale).

  8. Exhaustion is a real thing and I finally gave myself permission to be exhausted. Fortunately I indulged in a LOT of comfort reading, some of which is your own. Rest, drift, repeat.

    Not eating kale no matter what.

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