My new treatment is fascinating. As I understand it, it’s basically a form of gene therapy that works on the mutation my cancer has (not me. I don’t have the genetic mutation, so it’s not anything that would pass on to Emmie). So somehow, I take two medium-sized pills every morning and night and those somehow work on my cancer’s genes to make the tumors shrink (hopefully). I swear, it’s magic.
The only bad thing is that I have to take these pills on an empty stomach, so I can’t eat for 2 hours before and one hour after taking them. This means that there are 6 hours every waking day when I can’t eat, which really stinks when I am trying to put on some of the weight I’ve lost since August (each hospitalization put me down about 10 lbs. The first time was OK, the second time got a little scary. I saw numbers I haven’t seen since junior high!). My appetite is back, which is awesome, but it becomes a double edged sword around 9 PM. I really want nothing more than to snack, but I can’t eat until 10:30 at night, and that’s usually way past my bedtime.
So I’ve been cramming in the food between 10:30 AM and 7:30 PM (which admittedly is a plenty long time). Lots and lots of snacks, even if I’m not terribly hungry. I’m trying to still stay pretty healthy and I went a little nuts at the grocery store today stocking up on healthy snacks, especially ones with lots of good fats or calories for me. Lots of nuts, avocados, organic greek yogurt, granola, etc. Our fridge is happily stocked with delicious leftovers from generous friends and from a sweet family friend, Dennis, who just returned to Portland after a 5 day stint of essentially serving as our personal chef (!).
Other than that, I really have not been feeling any discernible side effects. I maybekindasorta might be running a super low grade fever sometimes (meaningless fever is one of the main side effects of this bad boy), but it could also be that Colorado has been having some stupid crazy temperature swings and I’m also just always cold because I have no more body fat, so I wear 4-5 layers at a time and then sometimes I get hot. So it’s hard to say. I also maybe might be losing slightly more hair than usual, but that also might be just my perception because I’m washing my hair less often because that also makes me so so cold. In any case, I seem to be tolerating this treatment really well, which is awesome. (Yay, body!)
I’m trying to exercise more, which is hard because I just feel kind of tired all the time (maybe a side effect? or just normal fatigue from going back to work after a month of doing nothing but nap?). At first I didn’t want to because I didn’t want to lose more weight, but my beloved oncologist told me I really ought to, so I guess I should. The main bonus of that is that I’m actually warm when I work out, so there’s that! I’m hoping it might help my energy level too, but so far that has not yet kicked in.
All in all, things are going well. Emmie is being her usual Emmie self (running around like a mad woman, flopping onto couches pretending to be a baby sleeping, or some such thing). Peter is always my rock and is the best husband any person could ask for. Things are good right now! Thanks, as always, for everyone’s love and unending support. We truly could not do this without you all.
Annette Martinez said:
Loving and Lifting…!
Julie Hogan said:
What a wonderful entry. So glad things are looking up for you Shannon! Please give your mom a big hug from me. I really miss seeing her at work everyday!
Rev. Kae Madden said:
Sending love and more love your way. Great news!