Monthly Archives: August 2011
Happy Friday friends! I have some links for you today!
First, if you want a blog post written by moi, click here to read my contribution to Project Think Positive over on The Chic Life.
Meanwhile, The New York Times had a very interesting article about the discoveries being made on the cellular make-up of cancer. Basically, researchers are learning more about how cancer grows, and in turn are becoming more confused about how to exactly treat and prevent it. There is a handy-dandy video at the top of that article that explains it much better. The more you know the better I say!
The good news is that scientists announced they successfully were able to destroy leukemia cells by modifying the patients own cells and putting them back into their body. The first time they’ve been able to kill cancer using the body’s own resources and not scary outside treatments. Very cool!
On the flipside, we are also experiencing a chemotherapy drug shortage. Very, very not cool.
Finally, I have a call to action for my New Brunswick readers!
Please visit the Campaign for Coverage website to send a letter to your MLA asking for a catastrophic drug plan. Without the plan, people like me who require expensive medications to keep them alive are being left in the dark while every other province in the country (excluding P.E.I.) are dedicated to providing coverage for those life-saving drugs. If Canada has nationwide Medicare, why are just two provinces not taking care of sick people who aren’t covered by private insurance and can’t afford the drugs they need to thrive? Basically, it’s just not fair. It’s had me think twice about choosing New Brunswick as my place to settle down in.
Sending the letter is really, really easy. I know doing this stuff sometimes seems helpless, but I’m a true believer that if you put up a big enough stink, and bug politicians enough, they’ll realize how important an issue is. Let’s make sure they know this for when they return to the Legislature in November.
And with that, I bid you a great weekend!!
I don’t think I will ever grow accustomed to being a patient here.
Or the fact that my current doctor is no longer the friendly family doctor I had growing up, but an oncologist/hematologist. Say what?
After the first round of morning appointments yesterday, my mom and I had time to go out for lunch before I was due back to sit in the chemotherapy chair to have the poisons injected into me. I had to think very carefully about what I chose to ate, because I could be sick later and neverever want to eat it again.
Soup would be ideal in these situations. But Pho? Even better.
I got a vegetable one with chicken added at Red Satay in Moncton. With the addition of rice noodles it’s like chicken noodle soup x100. It was the perfect pre-chemo lunch!
Then I went back to the chemo chair. If you’re curious as to what that experience is like, I wrote about it here. The only difference today is that my vein started burning on the last drug, which is administered through a bag drip. At first the nurses and I freaked out a little because burning can indicate that the poisons are leaking out of the vein into the arm and skin. NOT GOOD! But thanks to my good blood return, we determined it was still in the vein, and that maybe the bright red Vinblastine drug earlier caused it to seize up a little. Good ole’ Vinblastine, it takes my hair, turns my pee orange and cheeks bright red, and now apparently freezes up my veins. A little saline drip with the final drug made it more bearable, but still, ouch.
Last but not least was my chest x-ray! I’m old hat at this by now and have that back area of radiology and nuclear medicine memorized. I had to don a hospital robe for this one and as soon as I put it on, I decided they were no longer constrictive fabric prisons of the sick and dying. No, my hospital robe is now my superhero cape. In it, I can beat anything!!
I have yet to hear back on the x-ray, but for the rest of the day I imagined little superheroes in my body blasting the cancer into oblivion.
The first day after chemo isn’t so bad, but it’s days 2 and 3 afterward that really get me with nausea. So for now I’m back on the all-toast diet supplemented with fruit smoothies and veggie soups. I’ve officially gained back all the weight I lost in the hospital. Probably because I often have thoughts like “I have cancer, who gives a crap if I have extra piece of chocolate.” And really, I don’t give a crap. It makes me look healthier and not like I’m wasting away. With that said, my chemo regimen (ABVD) is actually known for causing patients to gain weight thanks to the steroids. Just another cruel joke that cancer patients not only get to be bald, but fat and bald too.
For today, I am doing absolutely nothing. Watching some mindless television…
Old episodes of Conan make me laugh like no other. Plus, no plot to follow.
And of course, cuddle up with the pets.
Cashew is not your typical cuddly cat, but for some reason is obsessed with sleeping on top and inside my bed. These days, she’s taken to nudging up against me in bed and sleeping there throughout the day or night.
Maybe she’ll be my superhero sidekick?
P.S. I just want to wish all my blogging friends a fun time at the Healthy Living Summit in Philadelphia this weekend! I had a ticket could go, but am currently not allowed to travel. I will be there in spirit and have full plans to make it next year once I am in good health! Hey, at least without me there, there will be more Blue Moons to choose from at Friday night’s cocktail party ;)
Happy Waffle Wednesday!
Are you shocked? I know I am. After two weeks of no chemo, I woke up and found myself actually wanting a sweet treat for breakfast. Apparently, chemo can decrease your sodium stores, which explains my insatiable cravings for savoury and salty foods as of late.
I attempted vegan waffles using a flax egg, a dash of coconut flour and soy flour, and some sunflower seed butter mixed in. Vegan waffles are still not my forte, and I’m not entirely happy with the texture of these. The taste though was spot on.
Plus the syrup + raspberry jam dipping mixture was, the um, “jam”! I always dip. No soggy waffles allowed.
Anywho, I’ve been doing a little more cooking this week. Usually I am way too tired and fatigued to stand around the kitchen, but my off-week from chemo always allows me a little more energy.
Paired with some “Asian coleslaw” using cabbage and carrots from my CSA box, chopped dried apricots and cashews, and 2 tbsp each of rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, and Bragg’s liquid aminos.
You know what was even better? Combining these two things for lunch the next day.
Chilled tofu nuggets cut into cubes over coleslaw? Uh-mazing.
These will get made for a salad topper again in the future!!
Don’t tell Mama Pea, but I also breaded some chicken using the recipe. And then smothered it in plum sauce. That was dang good too.
Today is C-Day, aka chemotherapy day. I’m at the hospital allll day getting poked, prodded, and poisons injected into my body. I’ve been dealing with a receding hairline since my hair started falling out last week, but I suspect this third treatment will be the one that makes it all fall out.
I’m also getting a chest x-ray, which has me all kinds of nervous. But at least I get to come home after and do something along these lines…
Let’s just hope Buddy the boxer doesn’t hog the bed.