Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pills and potions

I love my new bedspread
My life is so strange. Is everyone's life strange? Is there anyone who can say, with any degree of sincerity, Yes, my life is perfectly normal. Perhaps there are plenty of people who can say that, it's only that I've fallen in with the wrong crowd in the right city. Of course I've been abnormal for so long, normal looks rather suffocating. But I might be mincing things. Not sure if I'm talking about cancer anymore...

Anyway, here's a thing: when I am alone, every once in a while I realize I am checking in with my scalp. I found myself tonight, suddenly rubbing my hand around on my head, thinking, it definitely feels 'downier'. I am exploring the shape of my head. And my head likes it.

Anise and Monterey Pines
(Buena Vista park)
So many pills and potions today, when I'm not actually taking anything it's on my mind still to some degree. Glutamine powder (for neuropathy) mixed with water 3x/day, 10 or so herb pills taken not with food 3x/day, dex and zofran in the morning, and zofran in the evening. The last two have to be taken with food or they will give you a stomach ache, which also happens if I forget to take them. Then the more standard: D3, calcium, fish oil, B Complex. Senna for constipation caused by deximethasone for at least four days, plus whatever sleep aid I am taking that night. Ginger tea for fatigue and digestion. Green tea. I'm also dosing out on probiotics, ideally half an hour before eating, which makes me feel a lot better, less weird. No added sugar except a little stevia, no processed food, alcohol, caffeine (except green tea)...

Sometimes the only word I can think of to describe how I feel is 'weird'. Am I too spaced out to come up with something more articulate? Or perhaps there just isn't a reference point...

According to, here's what Taxol, the main chemotherapy drug I'm taking, does: "In the cell division cycle, it works in the G2 (Gap 2) phase, by stabilizing microtubules and inhibiting their disassembly." Whoever wrote that was perhaps out of touch with the common man.

...There's also moxa, the burning mugwort (not to be confused with Hogwarts) stick I apply to various points, yoga ball exercises, dealing with the tightness in my hips and the hunchedness of my shoulders, keeping my feet warm, walking at least an hour a day. Support groups, medical appointment juggling, acupuncture, pilates, feldenkrais, the yoga I'm not doing. There's also keeping track of all the pills and supplies, keeping them stocked. And things to wear on my head: wigs, wig caps, scarves, scarf-tying techniques...

Anyway. My pill and potion regimen is most intensive the first couple of days after chemo. I am both tired and not-tired at the same time. Lethargy married to mania. Lethargy/fatigue mostly stays on the inside, mania comes out. The routine changes after 4 days, 10 days, and 15 days. I have it all written up on a complicated spreadsheet. I wish I could upload it here but don't think blogger has that functionality.

I try to remember write down symptoms as they come, so I can have something to report to the doctor in two and a half weeks.

A log in Buena Vista Park
I smoked some pot last night. I noticed I felt kind of guilty about it, but it helps me sleep, though it also makes me feel even weirder. It makes me feel like I am occupying two worlds: the stoned world I occupied when I was a teenager, within the shell of my current 49 year world, coping in different ways with having cancer each moment of my life.

No comments:

Post a Comment