It’s been a rough year. I haven’t worked out on a regular basis since February before my arm surgery and it is catching up with me.
I’ve talked to the doctor about lack of energy and fatigue. Part of me wants a pill to solve the issue but I am not a fan of meds and especially not “more” medication. They want to put me through the rigmarole of psychiatric help in order to determine why my energy levels and lack of motivation are prevalent and try to sort that out (this is where I get cynical).
I was told I have three years to live, maybe and I am undergoing chemo therapy for stage 4 esophageal cancer. I am tired. I don’t need a psychiatrist, I need energy. I think my emotions spilled out in front of Dr. Chandrikha and she was triggered to think “I don’t deal with this stuff”. I totally get that. I don’t deal well with multiple doctors and appointments and pills. I just need to get off my ass and fight through the fatigue when I can. I actually mowed the back yard the other day and used the weed trimmer.
My liver enzymes were a bit spiked with my last labs…
And by spiked I mean they went from a number like 15 to 91, both ASL and ATL. I think it was a fluke. I don’t have hepatitis, I don’t abuse pills and I have had less than 10 alcoholic beverages since May. The morning of my appointment I drank a Monster Zero. Next week I will not be drinking a Monster the morning of my labs and if the liver enzymes are back down, look forward to a write up and review from me on Monster energy drinks.
Sensitivity to Cold
The sensitivity to cold is probably one of the more annoying things about 5FU chemo therapy. I have been drinking warm water, coffee and tea. The nausea is causing me to not want warm water anymore but I need to stay hydrated. The nausea medication is wonderful, however. I am not so annoyed by not being able to drink cold beverages as I am not being able to touch cold things. It feels like fire and needles on my fingertips. Even something as simple as placing bacon on a skillet is painful. I am getting used to it.
This all started because I was having problems swallowing. I haven’t had an issue swallowing food for nearly three weeks. Does this mean the chemo is working? We will know with the next CT scan which has yet to be scheduled. I am thinking October?? I of course will let everyone know.
So what does that mean if the chemo is working?
If the chemo is working and tumors are shrinking, the option of surgical esophagus resection may be put on the table, so to speak. They may take out part of my esophagus and put it on some sort of table, literally. How do I feel about this? I want you to close your eyes and think about the next time you get to eat your favorite pizza. Now imagine not being able to eat said pizza for an extended period of time (months or years or forever)? If it will give me more years on Earth, I will definitely consider it. I say TAKE THAT TUMOR OUT YOU OVER EDUCATED NEANDERTHALS! (I don’t really feel that way about doctors, I was just having a theatrical moment and channeling Mel Brooks).
I started working from home 5-10 hours a week. It has been going pretty well thus far but I do find it difficult to focus for too long as the morning drags on and fatigue sets in. I seem to have the most energy between 5 am and noon. One would think I’d take this opportunity to also exercise. Blah blah blah blah..yeah, I know. Hey, someone give me an indoor pool and I will do water aerobics all morning long! I really mean this.
Do we need anything?
I intend on comprising a list of things we could use help with. The reason I have yet to do this is because I am fiercely independent and stubborn as a mule and always optimistic I will eventually have the energy to do everything. I know this isn’t reality so here is a short list of help we could use:
1. Pressure wash the house, privacy fence, driveway and garage. We have a nice pressure washer.
2. Sort my lumber behind the garage. It is a mess.
3. Organize my wood shop. I converted my garage to a woodworking shop. My buddy Tim Dengler is going to help me with this. I am merely putting it on this list to give him a guilt trip. He is dealing with his own health issues right now, though. Get better, Tim!
4. Finish the front of house landscaping project. I started a project in May and some of it needs redone. I bought some edging that looks like shit now. No wonder it was cheap?
5. Clean the gutters.
I want to do all of this stuff and more but I need assistance. In my mind, I can still do it all. I then stand up and walk a few steps and I don’t have the energy, balance or focus. If I can get off my ass and start an exercise regimen, I feel like my energy levels will rise and this short list will be a piece of cake. Baby steps.
Social Security Disability Income
I was approved for SSDI. I plan to never use it but will likely have to and it is such great peace of mind knowing if shit hits the fan, I am covered. For any of you who don’t think this country is great, think long and hard about my situation, the 28 years I have paid into social security and the fact this great country of ours sent me a letter that says, “we will pay you in the event you can no longer work”. I am grateful and fortunate. Again, my plan is for remission and working more hours.
No real significance here, I just want everyone to know I have never been a big fan of pasta until I started chemo. Give me pasta or give me death! Actually, give me cinnamon toast crunch if there isn’t any pasta left.
Thank you for reading!