Independence Day (Chemotherapy #27)

I had a different sort of independence day today. It was a day of being independent from being needed or useful. I apologize to the friends and family who wanted to see or hear from me today, it just wasn’t going to be possible. The last few days have been incredibly stressful and I can’t even point to a coherent reason why. Things have just been too much, and I just don’t have any energy left, and worrying about anything just gives me a headache.

I haven’t been sleeping well. I have had vacations to plan, rooms to book, things to prepare, things to fix, things to sort and things to sell, stuff I need to get done but can’t find the time to do, emails to respond to, text messages, bills, car registrations, and dirty dishes to name a just a few of the stressors.

I’m also in a sort of limbo land between my last CT scan and the next one in mid-August. I’m anxious to know whether my diet and chemotherapy are having any effect on the cancer growth. My goal at this point is to coexist with the cancer, check its growth and mutation, and thereby survive as long as possible without progression or side effects.

Chemotherapy #27 was very tolerable. The irinotecan dose was reduced a bit because of my low platelets (66×10ˆ9/L instead of a healthy minimum of 150). I had virtually no side effects — no nausea, no mouth sores, no bloody noses, no tummyache, no headaches, not much gastrointestinal distress, though I am increasingly fatigued by the chemo and it’s good to have a nap the few days after chemo. I avoided taking my dexamethasone for days 2 and 3 because there were really no side effects to minimize, so I got much better sleep.

The low-carb diet is going very well and studies that say chemo is easier on a low-carb diet seem to be on the money. I have taken my average blood glucose levels from about 143 down to 99, and I am almost always 100% in range now. I’m hoping this stresses the cancer and helps the chemotherapy work better.

For Father’s Day, my wife made me an almond-flour low-carb set of cupcakes with whipped cream, Splenda, and powdered freeze-dried raspberries. It was so delicious and a special treat! She has such amazing baking talents working with dietary restrictions!

Low-Carb Raspberry Cupcake for Father's Day
Low-Carb Raspberry Cupcake for Father’s Day

We had Father’s Day dinner at Armadillo Grill in Carrboro, one of our favorite dinner spots, and it’s kind of halfway between us and my mother and father-in-law’s house. It is always wonderful to spend time with Grandma K and Grandpa J.

Father's Day Dinner
A lovely dinner meeting for Father’s day at Armadillo Grill

On July 1 our family traveled down to Myrtle Beach, SC to attend my niece B.’s wedding to her husband B. I am over the moon to have him in our family, he is the most kind and steadfast partner I can ever imagine. The wedding was in the aquarium in front of a tank full of stingrays, and the ceremony was very peaceful as a result.

As a bonus, the shark tank was close by in case anyone misbehaved. All weddings should be like this! The reception was held in a banquet room at the aquarium, with a local restaurant doing a fantastic brunch catering with Shrimp and Grits, eggs, sausage, fruit, hash browns, it was a very tasty spread.

At the wedding my Aunt R. and Aunt J. came all the way from upstate New York and Aunt R. made me the most amazing birthday strawberry-rhubarb pie. Some days I spend my precious 20 grams of carbs on blissful bites of the pie, and I’ve frozen three quarters of it for indulgences in the near future! So beautiful and delicious!

Aunt R.'s Strawberry-Rhubarb Birthday Pie
Aunt R’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Birthday Pie!!

Things were fairly rushed on the Myrtle Beach trip, and I was a little disappointed I never got to see the actual beach or put my toes into the water. Being a water sign, I need some regular beachy recharge time for my physical and mental health. But it was July 4th weekend, it was quite busy and me and the kids decided parking would be a hassle, so we headed home after a nice breakfast with my sister S, brother-in-law JD, and the newlyweds B&B.

It’s another week until the next chemotherapy round and I’m going to take a little beach vacation for my birthday!

4 thoughts on “Independence Day (Chemotherapy #27)

  1. Keeping my fingers crossed this Diet will help. It was so wonderful spending time with you and your Family. What an awesome 3 days. Love, Prayers and Hugs sent. I love you. ❤🙏🙏🙏🙏

  2. This diet is something I have preached as a nurse for years! It works, and it will work for you. I love you. You are always in my thoughts. May the universe embrace you and continue to keep you here for all of us. We have so much to learn from you. I love you and yours 🩷

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