That Old Familiar Road

This week I’m not sure that “adventure” is the right word to describe chemotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer. “Endurance trial” seems wrong too, since my symptoms have been milder than those of many women undergoing treatment. What I find strange is how the cycles of chemotherapy are all so similar, and yet they change all the time.

Last Friday I had my third infusion out of six. The needle hurt going in, and I’m beginning to suspect it has something to do with the nurse who installs it. Perhaps a little less vigor next time?

I ate lunch, as usual. Afterward we went to the Pearl Street Mall to visit the chocolate store opened by a former yoga teacher of ours.

One thing that surprised me about the second cycle was how quickly my sweet cravings came back. Every day for 12 days, I had donuts or ice cream or chocolate or something similar. It was a little eerie, watching it happen. Then on the Wednesday before chemo, I went to a potluck with members of Boulder Media Women, and Linda Spangle gave me 100 Days of Weight Loss: The Secret to Being Successful on Any Diet Plan. She said she takes a copy of one of her books to gatherings and always finds someone who needs it. And she was right—I do need a book like that. I’m planning to use it this cycle to avoid acting like such a sweets addict.

The very first daily motivator goes this way: “I used to be that way, but now I’m different!”

If I could just convince myself of that—convince myself that I don’t need to eat every sugary thang that crosses my path—it would do wonders for my health and self-esteem.

But, when I have a sour stomach, desserts do sound good. Although I should be grateful I have only a “sour stomach” instead of nausea and vomiting, I’m not. I just want it to go away.

In two or three days, it will subside. I know that, so I’m trying to distract myself by keeping busy.

During the second chemo cycle, a new symptom emerged—muscle twitches, coldness, and weakness—and it’s back, in my face and arms and legs. The nurse practitioner suggested I take L-glutamine and alpha-lipoic acid, which I haven’t yet bought, and a friend suggested acupuncture. So tomorrow Todd will take me to the walk-in acupuncture clinic in Boulder, and I’ll see if that does anything.

At times I rejoice that I’ve made it through 3 cycles, but then at other times the remaining 3 sound so endless.

The tumor in my right armpit is disappearing. It’s just a little nubbin now.

And there is the new book, which gives me hope that one day I won’t be a slave to sugar.

It’s warm and sunny outside. I think I’ll go for a walk before tomorrow’s cold descends.