I am in the middle of Week 2 of expensive chemical extravaganza and things are going surprisingly well, actually. Except “my hair hurting” around the scar, I can’t think of any other physiological changes. I am kind of celebrating and kind of not, as things can get worse as we progress – but today they are great! I have no nausea, no fatigue, my white blood cells are normal, still have all my hair – so hallelujah!
The routine is simple and somehow I manage to fill out my days with focusing on me and things I haven’t done in a while (besides the radiation procedures that I never wanted to do in the first place). I am back home at 930 am from the radiation, listened to the NYT Daily podcast in the car already. Make myself a breakfast when I get back as I don’t like to be lying down with food/coffee in my stomach and mask over my face. I watch an hour of Declassified or Handsmaid’s Tale on Hulu/Netflix, then go to gym or long walk or do some quick errands on the computer (pay my ongoing medical bills, start looking for summer camps, call a plumber), have lunch with B who works at home now or go meet a friend for lunch, read a few chapters of an actual book without falling asleep, wait for Mia at her bus stop, go for a walk with one of the kids or do project/homework/activity, dinner, some TV show with the kids, chemo pill – done.
I moved to keto diet which has kept me busy. The whole idea is that instead of sugars/carbs producing energy for my body, we turn to fat doing that in my body. Which means high fat/low carb and low-sugar intake. Surprisingly, we have actually followed the high fat/real food diet before and still are to some extent – nuts, my homemade beef broth, leafy vegetables, fish, etc…. what’s harder is the stuff you have to give up – pasta, potatoes, most of fruit, bread, juices, anything that has sugar added (which is almost EVERYTHING!). We don’t eat processed food so that is not a problem to eliminate. I have been craving a bit of bread and sweets but found some recipes to make them low-carb so good replacements. Why am I doing this? There is research that cancer cells feed on glucose so I am trying to get my body to the state of ketosis where it starts producing ketones as it processes all the fat – and no sugar. Hence, starve those cancer cells, hit them with some chemo to weaken them more and then burn them down with the radiation – that’s the plan! It sure takes a lot of thinking to know what I can eat but if it helps, it’s worth it. Can’t really hurt!
Here is what I eat now:
I am also realizing how helpful it is to be at home during this phase. I didn’t see how much stress I was absorbing at work – and that is completely gone. I don’t think about work (thanks to my fantastic colleagues, team that are just plugging along) and it is like I peeled a layer of stress away. I can truly focus on getting better – mentally and physically. I lost 6 lbs with all the gym/keto already, not because of nausea 🙂 Mentally, I am confident we are on the right path, have all the data I need so don’t dwell on what ifs and what will be in a few years. This is the cards I got handed and will work through it. Day by day, week by week.