An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2010-07-09 05:22
Subject: [cancer] Trials and tribulations and recoveries
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, child, health, personal, writing
Been not such a swell week. I was emotionally overwhelmed Monday, and stopped making personal comments here and elsewhere until I could get myself back on track. While not fully re-railed, I'm enough back to my usual self to resume expressing my thoughts.

Most of the chemo side effects are noticeably better already. Objectively I still feel pretty damned lousy, but compared to a week or two ago, I am golden. To the point where I need to be careful about overestimating my capacity for, well, anything.

This week I have resumed driving my car on a limited basis. I have resumed writing, with something approaching a vengeance. My sleep needs have dropped back to 7.5-8 hours from the 8.5-10 hours they have been pegged at. I suspect once I kick the Lorazepam, they'll drop a bit more. (I want my old 6 hour schedule back.) The near-crippling fatigue doesn't come now til 4 or 5 pm, as opposed to somewhere between noon and 2, and when it does, it's not as deep or overwhelming.

With one exception, the peripheral neuropathy continues as intense as ever. Yesterday the interior of Nuevo Rancho Lake reached 89 degrees, and I did not even notice until the_child popped around and complained. My temperature sense is so off-base with peripheral neuropathy that I could get heat stroke and not realize it until onset of symptoms. My hands continue to feel chilled as ever; my feet and calves continue slightly numb, which translates to some trouble walking; and my fine motor control and finger strength are shot. I make a lot more typos, and misdial a lot of phone calls, because simply hitting the right key, especially on a small device, has become damned difficult.

The only exception is that I am becoming more cold tolerant in my mouth. I sipped some ice water a day or two ago, and while my back teeth ached a bit, I did not have the sense of throat closure that cold has been bringing me for months. I even had a small milkshake on Wednesday, though I let it stand in the heat a while before trying it.

So, getting better slowly, but life has been a bit stormier than I'd like right now.

And of course, now that I'm writing, I have an enormous amount of work to do before calendula_witch and I decamp for Australia and New Zealand next month.

Ah, life.

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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2010-07-09 14:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm glad you're feeling better. I would encourage you to continue getting as much rest as you can. Your daytime energy will improve, so if you are sleeping 8 hours, you're still in a much better place than when you were on chemo, and as you know it will take some time to fully recover from the chemo. (And you are still in a recovery period from surgery.) It sounds like you were not getting a lot of quality rest while you were having chemo, even if you were spending a lot of time in the sack, trying to rest, so you've got quite a sleep debt to pay off. :-)

Yoga can help improve circulation in the extremities. I don't know if it can address the peripheral neuropathy directly, but it might help get the blood flowing better, which should help with the chill. Now that you're feeling better, it might be fun to check it out, and I know calendula_witch can hook you up.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2010-07-09 17:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Concentrating on yourself is the important thing.
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User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2010-07-09 17:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Cant wait to hear about your escapades getting through airport security with the port still in place.... even if it a month off..
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User: horace_hamster
Date: 2010-07-10 00:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Jay, be aware that central heating is a lot less prevalent in NZ than it is in the USA, and you're coming here in what can be a very cold time of year. Wellington tends to be fairly cold in August, and very windy year-round. Cafes etc tend to have minimal heating.

If you get a chance while you're in NZ, see if you can find possum fur/merino wool gloves and/or socks. They're soft and fine but amazingly incredibly warm, and I think you can only get them in NZ.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-07-12 00:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I shall have to enlist danjite's aid in finding such wondrous warmers... :)
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User: ozwool
Date: 2010-08-07 05:08 (UTC)
Subject: possum merino wool socks and gloves
If you get a chance while you're in NZ, see if you can find possum fur/merino wool gloves and/or socks. They're soft and fine but amazingly incredibly warm, and I think you can only get them in NZ.

You can by them online from ozwoolclothing.com
We are selling only Australian and New Zealand made garments. Post worlwide.
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