remainders reminders

I think I understand why people quit taking prescription drugs. First, they are a pain to remember. Second, who wants a drug floating around in their body? Third, when they start to work, you forget that it is the drug that is making whatever it is you are taking it for feel better, and not your miraculous body.

My neuropathy is back. My oncologist told me to take 2T of a supplement called glutamine twice a day to help (here‘s a study about how it helps folks with my drug combo during chemo, but my neuropathy, which was pretty extreme during chemo, was still around a month post chemo. I don’t have the same pain when swallowing cold things, or the nausea when outside in the cold anymore, but cold and typing and stress makes my fingers and toes tingle. And, now, I’m tingling all the time.). About a week ago, I noticed that I hadn’t noticed my neuropathy lately, and I also noticed that I am extraordinarily lazy. I mean, it is a long trip from one end of the counter to the other where the cabinet with the glutamine is stored. So, I just stopped putting it into my spinach smoothies.

When I was in Chicago on Wednesday, I started to notice it again. It was really cold there, and I walked a mile and a half from Union Station to the Tribune to meet my friend, so I thought that I hadn’t been out that much in cold weather lately, and perhaps that was a trigger. I noticed it again that evening, and again on Thursday morning. Now, it is here all the time. I am back on the glutamine.

I might have this for my whole life. And, I do realize that this is a tiny tiny side effect of a major major infusion of toxic chemicals into my body. I mean, those chemicals (hopefully–we’ll know mid June) killed cancer cells off, so this is a pretty good alternative. I am aware of all of those things, but I still hate it. In ways, I know that, as much as I want to move on, cancer will always be a part of who I am. It changed me. It changed how I look at the world and my family and what I have and can do.

But, I hate being reminded of it all the time. When I was sitting in that infusion chair, I could feel the oxaliplatin (the drug that causes the neuropathy) start working after about an hour of infusion. I could no longer drink even room temperature water, I felt a little nauseated, my mood changed, my energy level got even lower. It was like a switch–I could be mid sip of water, and it would happen. And, for me, it lasted for about a week and a half. I had treatment every 2 weeks, so I’d have a few glorious days of not warming my water before I drank it, and I had to go back.

So, tingling and numb fingers and toes are really nothing. But they bring a body memory. Thank goodness for the supplement.

Yesterday, it was sunny and warm (ish. I mean, I’m from Texas and Georgia. When I say “warm” and am talking about 55 degree weather, I’m aware that that is not warm to birth-29 year old Jill), so I took Trudy for a very slow 3 mile run. That stroller is great, but it is not what you want if you are working on speed. It did make me slow down and notice the coming spring, and I loved it. I ran a fast 4 before doing 20 minutes of circuits at the gym today. I’m about to have a smoothie for dinner–Arden’s favorite babysitter and his girlfriend are coming for dinner tomorrow (he just graduated from college–congrats, Chris!), and I’m making Jessica’s and my favorite dinner (enchiladas with jalapeno and cilantro sauce and baked black bean dip with a fancy chocolate cake), so today is healthy day. I’ve gotten off of keeping track of sugar and cheese days, so I want to get back on track with that this week. I really really don’t eat cheese all that much anymore, but refined sugars are hard for me to stay away from. So, tomorrow will be a refined sugar day, and next Saturday at our friends’ annualfirst weekend in May party will be one, too. I’ll try to post healthy recipes that I make during the days in between!

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