Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28, 2016 - Losing Hair

Well, the doctor said I would start losing hair at about this time, so I guess I won't escape that one.  If I just run my fingers through my hair, individual hairs just fall out.  I did notice in the shower that I would get hair in my face.  Now I know why.  My hair is about an inch long, so it is probably time to cut it shorter.  I will confess that it is upsetting to lose one's hair after 40+ years of staving it off with Rogaine.  The only problem is that with this particular chemo it doesn't come back in many patients.

I'm still feeling okay in spite of having a light cold.


Monday, December 26, 2016

December 26, 2016 - Oops

Last night I was doing some research and discovered that Grapefruit Seed Extract and grapefruit juice can interact with cancer drugs.  "Continued use" can reduce the effectiveness of the chemo drugs.  I have been taking GSE since the 7th day, with some regularity.  I did this out of habit since we do this on most trips to build immunity against everything that travel exposes us to.  It does work, but now I will stop using it.  The choice: cold or ineffective cancer treatment.  I guess I will take cold.

As a result of this discovery I lost sleep last night and have a scratchy throat today.  :-(

We leave tomorrow evening.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

December 25, 2016 - Feeling Very Good

Well, we got on the plane on the 20th and flew to Florida.  Kathe made me wear a mask and she cleaned the seats on both planes with alcohol and put a towel behind my head--all to avoid my getting something while my immune system is compromised.  The trip was fine for me the whole way.  I had no discomfort at all.  The only difficulty was that somehow at some point I broke a blood vessel in my eye, making me freaky-looking--especially wearing my mask.

On the shuttle from Orlando to The Villages I sat up front and Kathe sat behind the driver.  The van was totally full and we were the last stop.  During the trip Kathe got car sick and wouldn't trade seats with me.

I don't know whether it was the car sickness that lowered her immunity or it was just bad luck combined with not taking the prerequisite GSE that I always take before traveling to boost my immunity, but she ended up contracting a bad cold.  Of course I have appreciated all of the steps she was taking to prevent me from catching anything, but in the meantime she is now my biggest threat. We are avoiding each other as much as possible.  I  have developed a runny nose, but I am pretty sure it is allergy to Florida because I have no other symptoms.

From a chemo treatment standpoint I seem to be in the period when my body is trying to recover from the chemo onslaught by hopefully rebuilding my white blood cell count.  I do want my body to be working on this process instead of trying to fight a cold.

As has often been the case during my ordeal, I received more suggestions for treatment that in this case the van driver, who had retired from owning 30 doctor's practices, gave me.  The first was alkaline water since cancer apparently "likes" acidity.  The second was to drink a cabbage smoothie every morning to rebuild  my damaged digestive tract.  The third was to eat Saltine crackers because they contain pectin or some such chemical that attacks cancer cells.  So far, I went with the cabbage smoothie and have made two so far.  My digestive system thanks me because it seems to be returning to normal.

The bottom line in all of this:  The first chemo treatment has been pretty tolerable.  I just hope it is  doing its job along with the Lupron.  We'll get results the day before the next treatment on 1/3.

Merry Christmas to all!