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January 29, 2008

Chemo Tomorrow Health

Starting chemo tomorrow. First of six infusions, three weeks apart. Some people feel like crap during this process, some don’t. I hope I'm one of the lucky ones. It's all somewhat unreal, since I continue to have no symptoms whatsoever. On the contrary, I feel better than I have in a long time. Let's hope that's a good sign. After tomorrow, I'm guessing, it’s going to start seeming a lot more real.

I wish I had the time and talent to write about this whole experience in depth. It's been an education. First, University of Wisconsin Hospital, then Mayo Clinic, now back to UW. Everybody's well-meaning, everybody's trying to do the right thing, but it's startling to see the degree of tunnel vision in the doctors I've encountered. It's all about the technology. I've talked to five oncologists of various flavors and not one has ever asked me a single question about what I eat, how I live, etc. It's just not on their radar screen. But to me it seems axiomatic that it's essential to make my body my ally in this, to enlist its abilities to heal itself, and that anything that promotes my overall health is crucial. Not to my docs, though. They've got three tools in their bag – surgery, chemo, radiation – and that's it. Given the extreme toxicity of chemo and radiation, it's hard to believe there's not a better way. Someday there will be. In the meantime, I'm doing everything I can to make myself as healthy as I can, and my doctor will do what he knows how to do.

More to come.

Posted by Jonathan at January 29, 2008 09:54 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


Hey Jon,

Wishing you the best on your healing and recovery. Thanks for sharing your story -- I greatly admire your positive attitude and outlook. And yes, you are absolutely right that questions about lifestyle should be front and center...keep us posted. You can countdown your chemo treatments along with W's weeks in office (when life gives you lemons, make lemonaide, eh). :-)

Posted by: Trish Kaiser at January 29, 2008 11:32 PM

Speechless with sadness, glad always to read a new post from a man I much admire. Fight. Win.

Posted by: Wolf DeVoon at January 30, 2008 08:50 AM

Yours is a journey that other people have travelled and made 100% recoveries and i wish nothing less for your recovery and return to full health. My best wishes as always.

Posted by: Malcolm at January 30, 2008 12:09 PM

Your post simply knocked me off my feet. "It's all about the technology." My blood chilled.

Jonathan, I wish you all the best, and I thank you for your candidness. Your words offer me support.

My husband has been diagnosed (hah!) last week with a suspicious PSA count (oh my, 2.1) and suddenly he is in this whirlwind of referrals and urologists and oncologists and future biopsies, possible surgery. My "Hah!" is based on the *sudden* epidemic of men his age (58) at his work place who have prostrate cancer and need surgery, chemo, etc. etc. I guess death by "cancer" is better than paying out a pension.

I know, I'm paranoid.

But it bothers me greatly that NO ONE asks any questions about life style. We are totally committed to organic food, low fat, little beef, distilled or RO water, no sugar, no synthetic crap, we are well within a healthy weight range. We take supplements and antioxidants. But if we ask the Doc about what nutritional needs we should look into with this new future we are facing (since I'm the cook, I need to know) well, the Doc's eyes just glaze over. Nutrition is just not sexy enough, I guess, for the AMA.

So I have spent hours on the net, reading and learning.

One thing I have learned is that sugar should be avoided while undergoing chemo. I know, this is a blow to the Jello industry, but Jello may be about the worst thing you could ingest at this time. Don't let them talk you into it. Just wanted to pass that on to you. I am trying to find something to replace Jello for the possible nausea. If I find it, I will send the info to you, if you don't mind.

To echo Wolf, "Fight. Win." I know you will.

Posted by: Lane_in_PA at January 30, 2008 02:02 PM

Thank you all. Your well wishes lift me up and carry me on their shoulders. Good medicine.

Lane, here's hoping your husband's situation turns out to be a false alarm. I do know what you and he are going through. It *is* a whirlwind. And nobody really has all the answers, so you just scramble to try to piece it together as best you can. Wishing you all the best.

Posted by: Jonathan at January 30, 2008 10:23 PM

Carry it on, bud. Know that there are folks thinking of you.

Posted by: LarryE at January 31, 2008 02:06 AM

All the best. Everything will turn out fine.

The doctors will do the technology part i.e scientific. We, on our side must do the postivie thinking, being healthy and religious part.

What has happened, has happened well
What is happening, is happeing well
What will happen, will happen well

Posted by: Thanneermalai L at January 31, 2008 05:46 AM

Good luck Jonathan - I'm sure between you and the doctors you'll get eberything sorted out before too long.

Posted by: Big Gav at February 2, 2008 01:37 AM