Friday, April 28, 2006

Welcome to my oncolife

I haven't wanted to let the cancer invade my blog, but there is plenty to say about it. And I'm sure a few people would like more detail than I have energy to provide in phone calls. So here is the new cancer blog. Perfect for my philosophy of living life during treatment: don't deny, but compartmentalize!

Today I started acupuncture. The dr is a very nice guy who seems like a cross between Major Dad and Richard Dreyfuss if he ever played a yogi. He has treated cancer patients for 18 years. He clearly has a tiny complex about the skepticism of the western medical establishment, but overall he seems to know what he's doing. And he dissed Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, so I knew I was in good hands.

The first appt took 2.5 hours. There was a lot of discussion, which quickly cohered around my energy, phlegm, and adrenal function. The typical tongue and pulse examinations came about an hour into the interview, and at that point he pronounced me "blood and chi deficient." And since both properties are necessary for making it through chemo OK, he did a treatment and gave some herbs to help address my low blood and chi.

The treatment was fine. I've only had acupuncture once before and it was completely painless then. This time, there were several needles that really hurt, mostly on the left side. That indicates stagnant chi, which surprised him a bit, since the cancer (basically a chi cesspool) was on the right. Anyway, there were four needles in my neck, two in shoulders, one in each arm, one in each hand, one in each knee and foot, and a few on my lower legs. (Susan Love assures me that it is safe to get acupuncture in the surgery arm. It promotes circulation and decreases lymphedema, so good.)

I got some herbs prescribed, for the road. One blend has ginseng and longan, the other cyathula and rehmannia. Google searching reveals that anti-oxidants are contraindicated during chemo, but these herbs appear to be a go. Yay.

I'm also supposed to be sure I get to bed no later than midnight, and eat three meals a day. Doesn't seem like rocket science, but that's assuming you don't take my weird personal habits into account.

Ordering hats, turbans, and relaxation tapes this evening. Wig tomorrow. First chemo is on Tuesday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here we go (or there we went). You were so pro-active, from the start, as you always are in your life. It's one of the qualities that makes you not just a survivor but a thriver (I said a hip hop, a hibby to the hibby). Thanks for taking such good care of your self! You're a gift to us all.