Posted by Sappho on August 1st, 2012 filed in Daily Life, Health and Medicine
The last couple of weekends I have been swimming. This Friday I plan to take a day off work and go kayaking. And last Saturday I returned, for the first time since my hyserectomy, to my yoga class. Having recovered from most of the radiation therapy fatigue, I am trying to make the most of the interval between radiation therapy and chemotherapy when I get to feel relatively normal. I have a month before I get to feel tired and sick again.
I arrived at the yoga class at 11am on Saturday, and made sure to warn the instructor that I was back for the first time after a medical absence, so that he’d understand if I skipped on some of the poses. It has been nearly five months since the hysterectomy. I can do abdominal exercises and lift boxes in the garage, but I still feel occasional twinges of pain if I try to hold certain poses. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever lose “Whatever it is a wound remembers, After the healing ends.” But I made it through nearly all the poses of that 50 minute yoga class, only having to take an extra five minute break once.
Other than that, here’s the latest on my cancer recovery:
Weight: Down ten pounds from my pre-cancer weight. Trying to regain as many of those ten pounds as I can before I start chemotherapy (I’ve resorted to pigging out on chocolate in addition to my normal diet – not sure if this is recommended, but I really want that weight back). It’s not that I’m too thin (I’m still within a normal BMI range), but I don’t want to lose weight that I lost due to having cancer or to be particularly thin when starting chemotherapy.
Diet: I’m back off the horribly boring low residue diet, and eating almost entirely normal food. I say almost entirely because I’m still avoiding anything too spicy (when I tried going back to full normal on spices by having a nice spicy Indian bean dish for lunch, it didn’t work out – hopefully I can go back there soon).
Energy: I still really have to have 8-9 hours of sleep each night, rather than my pre-cancer of getting by on 7 hours most weekdays (with an occasional 6 hours if it was just for a day). But I no longer have to push myself through fatigue to get through the day at work.
Cancer marker: I have no idea what my CA-125 is right now, since they didn’t do that test at the radiation oncologist’s. I’ll find out when I go back to my regular oncologist.
Bloodwork: My white blood cell count dipped below normal briefly toward the end of radiation therapy, and was already back to barely normal at the end (though with my lymphocytes a bit low). I probably already have my lymphocytes back.
Follow up: I saw my radiation oncologist on Monday for my two week follow up. I’m to see her again after three months.
Money: Insurance pays everything except a copay of $20 per visit. Since the visits were daily, just that copay makes for a bill of over $600. This is nothing to what the insurance is paying. Cancer is expensive. It’s expensive to me (but mostly, given that I’m well insured and well employed, expensive in lifestyle ways rather than medical ways – the remodeling of the condo to make it easier to keep clean while I’m in treatment, the maid, extra money on food to try to tempt a flagging appetite) and expensive to my insurance. Where does the money come from for my part? Well, I had a reserve fund saved against any emergency, and I inherited a little money from my mother-in-law right around the time I got ill. The remodeling of the condo came from the inheritance.
Errands of cancer: I remembered the one I forgot. The insurance company assigned me a case manager. The case manager asked a bunch of questions about things like my diet and gave my a nurse line number to call if I need help.
That’s about it. I have my hair back, in a still short but sufficiently thick quantity that will let me fit right in if I should decide to go to the Pride event in Santa Ana after I see my oncologist in Newport Beach (my regular oncologist appointment is on a Saturday that’s the same day as that particular Pride event).