Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I ate oatmeal today

Some people say to not eat your favorite foods during chemotherapy: it can cause food aversions. Overall, I was lucky to avoid this side effect... except for one food. Since college, oatmeal has been a breakfast staple for me. But somewhere around chemotherapy number seven or eight, I could no longer even bring myself to touch the stuff.

Today, I ate oatmeal. And it was good. It felt like a victory.

Other marks that chemotherapy made are healing: my hair is 1/2" long; what were bright white lines on all eight fingernails are now indistinct lines on just two nails; the frequent pain in my right shoulder has faded to mild discomfort when laying on that side.

Radiation has taken its toll, too. I'm sleeping more than normal and feel tired all day long; even simple tasks like going to the grocery store seem daunting. My exercise tapes have become difficult like they were during chemotherapy. For a while, it also gave me brain fog (difficulty concentrating, "chemo brain").

Even though I'm still receiving radiation (tomorrow is the last of my five weeks of treatments), my brain seems to have recovered some function: over the weekend I tripled the size of the Wikipedia article on hormonal contraceptives. I didn't really believe the radiation oncologist when he said some side effects go away even while one is still receiving radiation; but apparently he was right. While I've been fortunate to avoid physical side effects (such as painful swallowing), some on the lymphoma boards report that those, too, can go away even during treatment.

Next week is exciting for me for two reasons. It will be my first week free of radiation therapy; I'll be completely finished with cancer treatment. And, I'll be restarting work! After two months on layoff, my boss called and said they're ready for me to come back.

The future is looking bright.

1 comment:

Anastasia said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog from a post you left on the WebMagic Lymphoma board. I also was dx'd with a mediastinal mass and was treated with chemotherapy. I have just started Proton Therapy. It was a difficult decision to make, I can see that it was also a tricky decision for you! I feel good about it--I definitely don't want Hodgkin's to come back, but the idea of secondary cancers and complications isn't too appealing either. Oh well, I am hoping for the best!!!!! Good luck. <3 <3 <3