Cancer Treatment Update

We’re three weeks and 4 days in on a six and a half week course. They’re doing radiation on my throat 5 days a week and chemo once a week. The Taxol chemo has a possible side effect of peripheral neuropathy, which is altered sensation in the fingers and toes. To forestall that we used ice gloves and booties. First time we went straight through for an hour and a half. That was rough. I devised a meditative “distraction” routine: breathe this way, then that way, etc. and then we were convinced that we could take breaks. So next time we went twenty minutes ice then five minutes break. Stopped being a problem. Then this last blood test the bilirubin was high so they suspended the Taxol for next week, so we won’t need to use cold gloves anyway.

The big difference in the first two weeks was the time. It’s been basically twelve hours per week of doctor stuff. Then there is the mandatory or highly recommended self care stuff at home, probably another four hours maybe. That’s been impactful on the business and the life style.

Have taken less exercise in general. Stopped going to Aikido for mainly immunocompromised reasons. Didn’t run much either. Four times in three weeks. Felt OK, just didn’t do it. Have continued with stretches, Tai Chi, slower, more meditation content.

Naps have been occurring. I never used to do that. Then I took a two hour nap after Tai Chi after the first week. Then again, and again. Then one day a two hour nap followed by a three hour nap then slept well at night. I surprise myself.

Sense of taste is about 90% not there. Shall we call it dormant? That would be hopeful.

Herbal stuff: I replaced water with chamomile tea for the first two weeks and upped my fluid from like 48 oz per day to 65 or so. Two weeks in I started to feel chamomiled out and went back to water. Seems like a good thing to have done. Two certified consults recommended reishi mushroom and other mushrooms. Great. I like mushrooms. The reishi I’ve been taking less than recommended. Supposed to be strong stuff. Maybe I’ll work up to 3-4 cups a day like one reference recommended. I’m in the 10 teaspoons a day range.

This accumulation of symptoms is, they all tell me, completely normal. I’m doing well, they say. My white cells are holding. I can still swallow.

I’ll give another update after a while.