Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chemo Round Seven

I had Chemo Round Seven today (technically yesterday -- I don't know if I'm still up due to being off schedule from a five-day weekend or because of the steroids), and thankfully no major issues.

I did have my Vitamin D levels checked at the advice of my mother. It turns out she was on the right track because it turns out I'm deficient, which I never even considered possible given that I live in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. [Quick review of Vitamin D: Aids the immune system and been seen to help prevent certain cancers. Also helps absorption of calcium, necessary for healthy bones. Naturally obtained from exposure to sunlight. Also available in supplements, fortified milk, etc.] Thinking over it a bit more, I do work in a cube farm and I layer on the SPF 85 pretty thick when engaging in outdoor activities. Lately, I've also avoided the sun as much as possible due to sun sensitivity from the chemo. A weak immune system is my biggest threat right now, so I'll definitely be popping the supplement pills and basking in a "nominal" amount of unprotected sun exposure. Getting knocked down from a normally minor infection is bad news, but so are melanoma and premature aging.

Apparently something I'm not deficient in is the poundage. From the beginning of treatment, the docs always prepared me for the worst case scenario (for good reasons, of course). They told me I'd be nauseous, including a decreased appetite and difficulty keeping food down. They even predicted I'd lose 15 lbs. by the end of the six months, even though I started out 10 lbs. underweight due to a holiday stomach virus. Although proper weight/nutrition is still a valid concern for many cancer patients, it has become rarer with the advances in technology and anti-nausea meds. In summary, four months of indulgent eating habits along with a largely sedentary lifestyle have given me back those 10 lbs., two-fold. You might be thinking, "Why fret about it? You have cancer. Take it easy and enjoy what simple pleasures you can." Normally I would agree, but the docs said that additional weight gain would dictate an increase in dosage to stay in the correct proportion ranges. More drugs because I'm mas chubikins? No thanks! I'll get my ass in fightin' shape! (....after I finish the bacon in the fridge. Wasting food is just unconscionable.)

June 9: Chemo Round Eight
June 19: PET-CT scan. That'll be my "report card" for the four months of chemo. I'm hoping to make the Dean's List.
June 22: Chemo Round Nine and PET-CT results

No comments:

Post a Comment