A good writer always considers her audience……and I have considered you, dear readers, as I sit down today to address the topic at hand. Many of you are family and friends, just wondering “How is Carrie doing”? Others of you inadvertently Google your way to my blog, perhaps following a link from “CelebHairCare.com” (LOL!), and some of you are on a similar journey, facing cancer on your own terms or perhaps supporting a friend or family member on their journey. When I began my blog, it was my intent that it should be an honest and authentic portrayal of my experience with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, so….before this becomes a “reality post”…….for those of you who just stopped by today to see how I’m doing….
…….I’m doing remarkably well! I suffer very little from my cancer or from my treatments. I continue to lose hair but I still have quite a bit and I suspect that CVP will leave me with thinner hair…..but not bald. My attitude is great…..I’m positive, I laugh all the time, I’m at peace with where I am right now and with where I’m going. I began my second cycle of CVP a week ago which means that my blood counts are at their low point this week….I’m more susceptible to infection, I have chills from time to time and I’m a bit more fatigued this week. I haven’t taken any nausea meds today and….so far…so good! I’ve experienced less of the metallic taste in the mouth this time around than I did during the first cycle.
So……if you’ve just stopped by to see how I’m doing, there you go! From this point on, I’ll be writing with a specific audience in mind…….those who are going through cancer or supporting someone who is. For those who wish to avoid “too much information”, this is the perfect place for you to excuse yourself and get on with your day…..
Rollercoasters???? Well, yes……that is the metaphor that I’ve chosen to best describe my…….”gastro-intestinal experience” of the last 12 hours. Remember…”C is for Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)….”? Well, guess what! C is also for constipation! My biggest challenge in dealing with my cancer (gastric lymphoma) has been in maintaining a healthy, functioning, and….ummm…..”free-flowing”…..NO! that’s not the word that I want!!!……let’s just say that I work very, very hard to keep my digestive system working as smoothly as possible. I drink LOTS of water, I drink fresh juices to keep enzyme levels high, I take probiotics and I eat yogurt to maintain a healthy “gut bug” population, I eat LOTS of fiber and veggies and I eat very limited amounts of meats and bread. I buy organic produce and I don’t eat processed foods, preservatives or artificial anything. I drink green tea…..and you should see the collection of vitamins and supplements that I take each day! And yet……I layed on the couch last night watching “Dancing with the Stars”, with five days of fiber and veggies bloating my gut, praying for something to happen. Eventually it did…..the “Rollercoaster” metaphor being the best way to describe the intestinal extremes that I’ve experienced over the last 12 hours.
Where did I go wrong? Well, I have eaten several “normal” meals over the last week. I really need to eat several very small meals throughout the day…..a handful of nuts, a cup of yogurt, a cup of soup. I’ve cut back on my coffee consumption but I should limit myself to one cup in the morning. 😦
What have I done right? Well….I do put an awful lot of thought into everything single thing that I eat or drink. Have I had enough protein today? Have I had enough fiber and fluids? How much am I eating and what time of day is it? I have several very good books that discuss nutrition, supplements, “cleansing”, the digestive system and the interplay of all these things with my specific type of cancer and my specific chemo regimen. I’ve listed these books on my “Favorite Things” page (see link at the top of this page).
I’ll close by mentioning one other book, Kris Carr’s “Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips”, which has been my companion over the last 12 hours. Kris has a great, positive, “kick ass”, attitude and has shared her own experience with cancer in her book, documentary, blog and web site….all of the same name. She’s been an inspiration to me and I highly recommend her book.