Life rolls on. It doesn’t slow down for the particulars of your situation. There are drains that clog, light switches that cease to work. Forms to fill out, thank you notes to write. Birthdays to celebrate and newborns to bless and coo over. Gardens to water, weeds to pull, laundry to fold, airport runs, graduations, weddings, visits to the hospital. The river of life cannot be dammed.
Add to this chemo therapy and appointments with the radiation oncologist. Today, I found out that I am not supposed to be taking anti-oxidants during chemo and/or radiation, a big part of my personal health regimen. The thinking is that the chemo works by oxidative stress on the cells, so if one takes anti-oxidants, you might be “protecting” the cancer cells along with you regular cells. Perhaps that is why my symptoms were so mild for the first two treatments. Today, a beautiful Monday in so cal after a little light rain overnight, I had an early appointment at Scripps Green La Jolla, where the radiation oncologist wrote out a flow chart of sorts describing my prognosis and treatment on the paper that covers the exam table, as well as taking us into his office to look at the cat scan. I have to admit it was kinda cool looking at my innards appear and disappear as he scrolled his mouse. But I am still undecided about radiation therapy.
Then up the freeway to Scripps Encinitas for my 3rd chemo. Because of the holiday last Monday, there were only 6 days since my last chemo. And without my anti-oxidants, this session really kicked my arse. I felt like I’d been playing in the NFL without pads. Joint pain and chills mostly, but plenty of other unpleasant sensations. Amy’s folks brought me a sticker, from a neighbor, that says “Blame it on Chemo” I think I will paste it to my forehead. I now feel good enough to get off the couch and write this. Not much, but a start. Coconut water is my new addiction.
I hope to see you all at the Fundraiser on Thursday. I am rather referring to it as The Gathering of the Tribes. My dear daughter Carmen and my dear friend Elena have worked so hard and I am sure it will be a magical night. Also, keep my father Robert Bruce Stephens in your prayers, as he is in the Hospital struggling mightily to regain his health.