Radiation…and fishing

Today I took time off from the grind of health plan research to do some early morning fishing and walking the lake with Hubby.  We struck a deal a couple of weeks ago, when he consented to a walk around a nearby lake if I’d agree to fish with him.  We’ve eaten some great trout from this lake, and now that the ocean-going boat is gone, Hubby misses fishing.

Last weekend we rented a patio boat and celebrated Hubby’s and my brother-in-law’s birthday on the lake.  Today we were again accompanied by my sister and brother-in-law, but she was unhappy with the strenuous walk (I’m encouraging her as part of her smoking cessation program and the brother-in-law with three new organs has managed to grow a massive beer belly in the year since his transplants so he needs to move around some) and Hubby couldn’t take her grouchiness.  Nonetheless, it was a warm day and fabulous to be away from the house and health insurance stress.  I felt relaxed for the first time in weeks.

Radiation treatments started this past week.  It’s a short course – 10 days.  The processes are fascinating and peculiar.  I don’t know if I’ll ever remember the names of all the therapists – they come and go, everyone does things a bit differently.  It’s a little nerve-wracking, not knowing why none of the positioning numbers seem identical from day to day, why one day they take measurements and the next day they draw marks on my body.  I thought that’s what the tattooed points were?  One just has to trust.

I’ve developed a suspicious dry cough which I believe has nothing to do with the lesion being radiated.   The grim reaper is relentless in his/her teasing.  I catch myself thinking about the world without me in it, imagining my husband playing video games, my friends going to Paul Weller concerts…and I’m just not there.  Life goes on.

During radiation, when I’m splayed out and immobilized by the shrink bubblewrap, or at the lake today, or during the deep meditation experienced during acupuncture, my mind is flooded with a strong desire to survive.  As if repeating the idea might cause it to occur.  I wish I knew what to do to effect a transformation in my body to the point where the cancer couldn’t progress.  I continue questioning the issue of diet.  I’ve made many changes but have never gone to the extreme of becoming completely vegetarian, giving up dairy, going raw, etc.  I hadn’t eaten eggs or processed meat or even bread for awhile, but today I had an egg and bacon sandwich at the lake.  It was good.  I’m stage IV, for crying out loud.  Shouldn’t I cheat once in awhile?  I passed on the hot links and fries and had dried peaches for lunch.  I mean, come on.  I came home and inhaled a bowl of beans stew, I was so hungry.  I’ve been juicing my little heart out for two weeks, and I’ve lost 5 lbs. as a result (no, it’s not the cancer).  Moderation is difficult when you wonder if the things you enjoy, although not terrible, make a great difference in the control of your disease.  It’s like a little kid being told they can’t have ice cream, pizza, ground beef tacos, cookies, french fries, juice boxes, fun cereal…I’ve given all that up…but once in a while, dessert calls to me in my dreams.  Or barbecue.  Because tomorrow is the Super Bowl.  Or potato skins.  What’s Super Bowl without snacks that are really bad for you?

Edit:  Had ribs and potato salad for Super Bowl.  I was miserable for two days.  Just couldn’t get it out of my body fast enough.  I had to drink a liter of carrot-cucumber-apple-brussel sprout-orange juice to detox.

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