Getting anxious after the final chemo is normal I guess. I’m 10 days out from my sixth and final chemo and now I’m consumed with getting back to normal.
The literature isn’t encouraging.
I read a lot when I was diagnosed and after awhile you stop because it will just scare the crap out of a reasonable person. For most of the summer I would just look things up on the internet when I wanted a specific answer.
A week or so before my last treatment I started reading a lot about recovery, recurrence, and getting this rat poison out of my system. Now with all that said, the internet is a wonderful resource when used judiciously and with sound judgment. There’s lots of crap out there. I always start with the American Cancer Society, Cancer Treatment Centers of American, Mayo Clinic and such. There are lots of blogs, conversation threads, and more. I just read those for amusement when bored.
But the literature largely suggests that chemo can take months or up to a year to totally clear your body. I find that unacceptable. I’m a bit of a world-class hard head so I’m going to test that.
How you ask? It all starts with my hemoglobin which I’ve written about recently. I’m tired of being out of breath. So I went to the net looking for ways to boost my blood cells carrying oxygen. And, by golly, I found several things I can do. Not surprisingly, it’s mostly about nutrition.
I learned that almonds, Spanish peanuts with skins, dark leafy green veggies, legumes and beans, and Vitamin C & D are helpful. I can’t jump into the deep end of the pool all at once but I’m making progress.
The lists also recommended figs and something called blackstrap molasses. I visited two local stores and no such molasses. Fortunately, I have a friend in Indy searching for me. I’m not a baker so I won’t be using it in baked goods, as mostly suggested, but one nutritionist suggested dropping a ttablepoon in granola or morning fiber cereal would work.
I discovered several salads at the deli station of a local grocery that are not dressing based and I’ve been eating those as well.
So much for hemoglobin. The other biggie for a quicker recovery and getting the rat poison out is lots and lots of water – can do. The second is exercise.
Right now exercise is really difficult. But I forced myself to take the dog for a nice walk this morning and we both did well. I hope to increase and increase that daily. As soon as I can breathe something close to normal, I’ll really tackle the exercise.
All of my friends lauded my stubbornness, hard-headedness, etc. before my first chemo. And I appreciated it. They also had plenty of fun with that. I’m going to really embrace it and force myself to really go to work to get this stuff out of my system.
Cancer sucks. Chemo sucks. I’m fighting back. Dammit!