Back on the Chemo I go

Sunday night is the big night – first day of 28 day cycle – the denying reality is over.  It has been a great break from treatments but sadly it has to come to an end.  That is the shitty thing, there is no “cure” just hopeful optimism that we don’t see re-occurrence.  So onto phase 3 of the standard of care (SOC) playbook.  It started with cut the sucker out, then radiate and drug what was left, now just keep drugging it until it rears its ugly head.  My Oncologist is old school and has great success with the old SOC.  His theory, if it an’t broke don’t fix it.  Well I am broke and I want to be fixed dammit so we are looking into additional therapies. One is Optune from Novocure.  This is a device I wear on my head (as much as possible) that generates an electrical field to inhibit cell division.  Amazing story behind the development of this technology (Read here).  I always love stories that have the developed in the basement or garage aspect to them.  This device has done so well they ended trials early to put into production.  In many cases Optune is being considered part of the SOC since it has such a positive result.

That is sort of the problem once you have one of these suckers cut out.  They don’t want to do too many things that deviate from the SOC and reserve the other treatments until re-occurrence.  Sort of leaves those of us that want to prevent re-occurrence with few options.

I am getting pretty used to this Ketogenic diet thing. Actually I find it pretty interesting from a endurance training standpoint and look forward to adjusting my training accordingly.  I have delved into some great books by Dr Phil Maffetone and his site (Here).  His method is called Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) where you train at a lower heart rate, stay 100% aerobic so you are burning fat for fuel, and build that system up so you generate more power at that lower heart rate.  The great thing is you don’t need to eat all the time as you are not burning glucose as an energy source and have to constantly replenish it.  Everyone, no matter how fat or skinny, has huge reserves of energy in our fat storage.  You just have to train your body to use it.  There are a whole lot of other benefits as well that I won’t go into so I can avoid the dreaded TLDR comments I will move on.  If you are interested google him, look at his site, get a book or two from the library, (FYI: the red book is more for just a healthy lifestyle, the yellow one is for athletic training) – will turn your thoughts about athletic performance and training upside down.

Speaking of athletics, I raced again last Wednesday.  Sadly because of my oncology appointments and MRI’s the week before I missed that weeks race.  I paid for it last week.  The good thing, my times have gotten progressively better (but then it is not always the same course week to week but very similar) but the suffering was much greater Wednesday than the previous two races.  I think I pushed more just because I knew I could and that = more suffering.  The last race of the Wednesday night series is this week. That is a day of decision right now since I will be 3 days into my 5 day chemo session.  I just have no idea how I will feel and how I will recover.  The Cross Crusade starts up next weekend and I hope to race on Sunday.  Again will be a game time decision since that is just a few days after I end my chemo.  I keep hearing how weak and sick people feel after their first round of high dose chemo so I don’t want to commit to anything because of pride if I think it will compromise me in other ways.  I am hopefully optimistic I can race in both.

Wow, really digressed there.  So to summarize after our victory post of no regrowth, I start on what they call the 28 day cycle. Five days of high dose chemo at night before bed (in hopes you sleep through the nausea),  then day 21 blood test, day 28 blood test, if labs are good, another round.  If bad we wait a bit for blood issue to resolve.  Next MRI is in two months the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  At some point I will hear if I am approved for Optune (my insurance case worker has to approve) and that will be added to the mix.

The rest is continue on with life as normal, the problem is realizing you are not normal anymore, I have never craved normalcy so much.



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