The trip to New Zealand was successful. We made it back without getting sick or having any medical incidents. I gained 4.5 pounds eating on the ship. It was the lure of "no sugar added" that had me eating way too many carbs. But it tasted good!
I thought it might be helpful to mention some of the chemo side effects in this article. It is important to note that chemo in my case is a combination of Docetaxel and Lupron, the hormone-blocker. It is not easy to separate the impact on me from the two. However, I do know that the Docetaxel is primarily responsible for my lost head hair (60% and the rest is thin) and lost facial hair, for my various digestive problems (stomach aches and some constipation), for my single dark red fingernail, and for the thinning of the mucous fluids in my mouth, and for the reduction in ability to taste foods. The Lupron is probably primarily responsible for my loss of muscle mass (best guess of 10%), loss of libido, and the loss of some of the feeling in my lower legs. Kathe says that she thinks I am not quite as sharp-minded, but I think this is more a function of general fatigue (I'm operating at about 85%). I will also admit that my patience level is lower than it was before chemo, so I don't try as hard to remember little details like the name of a restaurant from several months ago.
Kathe was worried about changes in mood and demeanor, but I don't think I have changed much other than a slightly lower level of patience and slightly higher emotional level (thanks to Lupron). I still remain positive about the outcome, thanks in large part to the wonderful level of support I am receiving.
So what's next? I have one more treatment in two weeks and then we wait for bone scans and tests in a couple of months. This is because chemo effects take longer when the cancer is in the bones. During the period of waiting I intend to continue on the diet and supplements, adding Saw Palmetto and Stinging Nettle Root to the regimen. The Lupron will continue to have an effect for two months.
Thank you all for the birthday and well wishes!