Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to Reality, Which Still Doesn't Seem Real

Like Backstreet, I'm back. We were on the Cape all of last week and had no internet access - which made the vacation that much more tranquil. Well, until day four when Craig and I couldn't stand it anymore and we drove around residential neighborhoods to find an unsecured wireless network we could tap into to catch up on e-mail and Facebook. But, no blogging. 

The week was just what the doctor ordered: lots of sun, sand, salt water and the calming motions of the sea. The sunsets we saw on the bay side were truly humbling and put the whole cancer saga into perspective. We did a lot of swimming, sun (well, more shade) bathing and fried 
seafood and ice cream eating. I read a book - a non-cancer related one - and remembered how much I miss this favorite hobby. We hit the Captain's Course at Pirate's Cove for mini golf, took in the Carnival parade in P-town - always a good time, and hit up the rail trail. I myself biked 10 miles - a few stops were thrown in along the way and I certainly wasn't at my normal clip but it felt good to work up a sweat. We kayaked through the salt marshes and walked as far as we could on the sand bars at low tide. We went on a highly successful whale watch seeing dozens of these giant, majestic creatures. Most importantly, we spent time with just each other, relaxing and taking a break from life. 

The Monday of vacation was tough ... the bone pain still highly prevalent but with each day things got easier until I was pretty much back to "normal." This week was back to reality. It's hard enough coming back from vacation to get back into the swing of work and life, but it was made even harder knowing I had to get back to my cancer realities with an impending chemo treatment this week. I went into the office Monday and Tuesday but ended up really exhausting myself. Each time through this cycle I get this false sense of strength and then realize quickly when my body has had enough. Yesterday I came home from work, crawled right into my bed and woke up at 7 p.m. only to head back to bed 2 hours later and sleep through the night with no problem. I'm certainly not back to myself yet. Regardless, tomorrow is chemo infusion number 8 and it's time to go through it all all over again. 

I'm getting my head and body in the right place to gear up again. Like some carb load before a race. I veggie load before my treatments. I saw a nutritionist a few weeks ago who said I'm doing everything right. That my BMI is perfect. That I'm drinking enough water. This is not what I wanted to hear. I wanted a magic bullet. I wanted her to say, "Oh, you need to be eating lima beans and pomegranate seeds three times a week and that will cure your cancer in no time." No such luck. She did however manage to scare me about my food safety habits - who knew you were supposed to wash the tops of cans before you open them or put sponges in the dishwasher? Yikes. I also learned that I am supposed to stay away from raw fish - i.e. no sushi (oops), soft cheeses, and any foods that look even remotely close to spoiling. It all comes back to my weak immune system. To add insult to injury, we've met with a pantry moth infestation so now I'm wary of everything I eat. She was however concerned about my protein intake so I'm eating even more leafy greens, beans, nuts and lean meats. This should give me the strength that I need.  Unfortunately it doesn't help the problem with my "bottom" which has yet to heal - I'm still just grinning and bearing it. 

This is the second time I'm going in on a Thursday. The Cancer Center has a whole different staff so the experience is a whole different game. I'll be seeing a different oncologist, will have a different lab tech, different nurse. They're all equally nice, but we just don't have that bond that I do with the Wednesday crew. I'm also scheduled to get a Reiki session while I'm getting my treatment. I'll just wheel myself and my IV pole to the massage table with the goal that the Reiki will curb some of the late chemo effects ... here's hoping. 


  1. Beautiful pics, looks like a great vacation for you. One topic that came up in our young women's support group today was exactly what you said - what if you were already at the right weight, eating healthy and exercising regularly... we were also looking for a magic bullet (just change this one thing and you will never get a recurrence).

    Good luck with your next treatment.

  2. i'm glad you had a break. day by day. moment by moment.