Blimey, it is just like the chaos surrounding the start of a new term. At a new school. Only with more of the dread. And less of the excitement. I have two and a half days to go until I descend into the Wacky World of Chemo where mind altering substances are given as standard and toxic concoctions are positively encouraged. But until then, I am racing around trying to Get Everything Done. My reasons for this are two fold.
First, I am not sure how all this poison is going to affect me. I am hoping to be one of the luckier ones who carry on a seemingly near ordinary life. However, I feel I should prepare in case I am instead pole axed by the whole business. So, I have completed all the birthday and anniversary cards for the month of June and they are lined up in date order near the door ready for posting. Presents for aforementioned recipients are likewise organised and in the process of being delivered. Do not be too impressed with this, I am bound to have forgotten at least one individual, mis-directed a card to another and invented an entirely wrong anniversary for someone else. While in the writing zone, I have been compiling lists galore. There are lists of my daily meds in case chemo brain robs me of the ability to remember what I take when; lists of recipes for juices; lists of tips for coping with chemo; lists of emergency telephone numbers; lists, lists, lists.
In a bid to maximise my health, I have taken up juicing again. Shopping for my 500 a day has become an almost daily occurrence. I have been drinking avocado, cucumber, carrot, apple, pineapple, spinach, kale, lime, ginger and all manner of other things. To increase my fluid intake, I have taken to using a fruit infuser which I love. My current favourite is strawberry and pomegranate but who knows how long that will last? Probably until the pomegranate is used up. Consuming an average of two litres a day, I am already pretty good at this whole drinking malarkey. But as my body is used to that and we are advised to drink plenty to plump up veins I figured going for three to four litres would be no bad thing. Post chemo it will help with flushing the toxins out. Apart from all the time I spend weeing, I am not finding it difficult.
While thinking of diet, I decided to investigate the options for supplements. Well, heavens to Betsy! Would you ever believe the number of suggestions there are out there in Internet Land? It is terrifying and bewildering and more than a little confusing. Having talked to a friend, done some research and then consulted The Doc, I have decided to go with a cocktail of supplements designed to support adrenal function and therefore increase energy. Thanks to years of stress, I already struggle with exhaustion much of the time and would like to do what I can to conserve my paltry energy stores. However, I am well aware that this may all be a load of baloney, but it seems worth a go. And I am all for the placebo effect.
All this eating requires diligent mouth care. Chemo targets rapidly growing and dividing cells first, including healthy ones. Mouths are basically a mass of such cells therefore some form of soreness/yackness (trust me, that is a word. I deem it so) is likely. So today, while shopping for the 500 portions of fruit and veg, I went in search of an extra soft tooth brush head for my electric toothbrush. Not as easy as you might think. I have a child’s toothbrush in my hospital bag (packed today in case of emergency admissions for sepsis) but wanted another for home use. I searched our local town and finally found perfection: extra soft, pack of four, on offer. What more could I ask? And for additional coolness, each one is decorated with a Power Ranger! How epic is that?
As I said at the start of this post, I have two reasons for all this busyness. The second is this: the busier I am, the less I think about the bad stuff and the more prepared I am. The more prepared I am, the more in control I feel. I realise this is all illusory but I do not have time to analyse that. I am way too busy!