Sunday, February 10, 2013

Inching closer to normalcy

Almost 2 weeks, and I guess I left things hanging a bit.  I indeed did manage to not get sick.  I suppose it's somewhat inevitable that as my life inches closer to normalcy, that the posts will be fewer and farther between.  I'm okay with that.

I'm continuing to increase my activity level.  Once again my bike is my default mode of transportation around town during the day, unless it's too cold or wet.  On Thursday, I even got on my road bike for the first time in a long time for a recreational ride up into the hills.  I'm not positive, but my recollection is that the last time I did that was during chemo, cycle 4, week 3, day 7.  Which would have been May 22.  It was a little slow going, and I took a couple of rest stops, but I did one of my standard small loops (a little under 10 miles, I think), and it went fine.  Felt good, even.  Perhaps I was a bit overly optimistic when I went shopping for new cycling gear (new helmet and shoes) last year during chemo.  On the plus side, I was happy to have a nearly new pair of cycling shoes for the ride.  I'm also continuing to go to yoga a bit, although I could probably benefit from more of it.  And this weekend I did some yard work, and while I'm a little tired and sore from it, I think I kept it under control and didn't overdo things like when I stained the deck after radiation back in October.

The most significant little glitch in all of this is that I'm having some minor digestive issues.  And they're a little bit more prevalent when I'm exercising.  One theory is that my stomach et. al. has been kind of trashed by numerous rounds of antibiotics (not to mention chemo).  Another is that maybe I've developed a little bit of lactose intolerance.  Maybe both are true.  I'd been trying to have more probiotics in the form of yogurt and kefir for a while, and I recently decided to try a supplement.  But I'm a little skeptical of a pill supplement.  I mean, sure, maybe there were active cultures when it was packaged, but if it's not kept refrigerated, how do they stay alive?  So I also tried buying a liquid form, that said to keep refrigerated.  Wow, I have to say, that is perhaps the nastiest, most disgusting thing I've ever encountered that is designed to be ingested.  I haven't done so yet, but I'm probably going to toss the rest of the bottle.  It's probably a bit too early to make any conclusions, but I'm not yet convinced that any of this is making any difference.  A nurse also suggested trying Beano -- we'll see how that goes, it's also too early to say.

I'm also still dealing with a bit of a runny nose and occasional congestion, but it's minor enough that I can just deal with it and am not to worried about it.  Although it would kind of suck if it went on forever.  The cough has been gone for a while.

I'm still going in for weekly blood work, and I'll probably keep that up for the rest of flu season.  My numbers look pretty good -- there are a few items that are usually a little out of range, but they're pretty close, and nothing to worry about.  I'm still on the schedule for my oncologist for these visits, but the agreement we came to was that she'll look at the results of the blood work, but I'm not actually seeing her every time that I come in.  She'll contact me if she's concerned about the results, and I can request to see her if I want.  But our visits had gotten kind of routine, and I don't think I need to talk to her every week.

Given all of this, I've been gradually increasing how much I'm working.  I started out working half time, then increased to 3/4 time, and starting tomorrow my plan is to return to full time.  But this is all still completely from home.  My plan is still to wait until the spring to return to the office.

We're also starting to think about taking a vacation (likely to Paris plus one other place that we haven't decided upon yet).  I need to decide what my criteria is for feeling well enough that we're willing to commit to buying plane tickets.