Friday, August 10, 2012 at 5:49PM
Now that I'm comfortably settled into this bi-weekly chemo thing, I'm starting to add some things into the mix. Slowly but surely, I've been trying to make my "on chemo" weeks look a lot like my "off chemo" weeks, and with some success. The goal is to make life as normal and uninterrupted by treatment as possible. I made some big strides toward that goal this time around.
First off, I'm not a big fan of the fact that I don't work out for the Monday through Wednesday of a chemo week. I know that I need to take care of myself and conserve my energy, but I found a way to achieve that while also cutting down on down time. I hit the gym on Monday morning, before my appointment with Dr. Lenz. Basketball and swimming: a perfect way to get my mind and body right for the challenge ahead. I wondered if I'd feel more tired or more energetic from my morning romp, and the verdict is in: I felt more energized. My body is a little champ.
Next, I focused again on hydration. Water, coconut water, herbal tea, and -- most deliciously -- the juiciest fruit I could find. Peaches, pluots, pears...pretty much any fruit starting with a "p," really. When you're dealing with chemo, some foods don't sound too appetizing. Many don't. For me, anything cold and refreshing always hits the spot, and the juicy summer fruit I scarfed down fit the bill for sure. Because I stayed hydrated, I managed to stave off that chemo-induced headache that I've gotten so many times.
Finally, I did something a little risky. I bought tickets to go see one of my favorite rappers of all time, Nicki Minaj, on Wednesday night. Now, a Wednesday night for a cancer warrior who received chemo on a Monday is usually a night for sleeping and dealing with chemo side effects. My chemo Wednesdays are by no means as tough as a lot of warriors I know, but it's not like I get through them without feeling a little gross at least. There was a chance that I wouldn't be up for the concert. I knew this when I bought the tickets, but I figured that if I rested during the day, I could make it out to see my girl and her music would buoy me through the night. I was definitely right on that one. I napped on and off on Wednesday and by around 7:45pm, I was in the shower singing along with Nicki and preparing for the concert. I didn't know exactly how I'd do in terms of fatigue, but the concert was at Nokia so it wasn't like I wouldn't have a place to sit if necessary.
I didn't need to sit. From the first minute I got into the venue, I felt the energy from the music and my love for Ms. Minaj roll right over me. I waited fairly impatiently as Will and my buddy Stoney got through security, and once they were through, I took off running to our seats. As in, running headlong into the throng and only taking a few seconds to turn around and holler for my guys to catch up with me. And then we were in. Nicki was amazing, just as I knew she would be. I screamed, danced, laughed, rapped, and jumped up and down for two hours. Her dancers threw some t-shirts into the crowd, and guess who got one? Credit goes to Will's head for stopping the shirt and Stoney's quick hands for snatching it up before one of her crazed fans could gobble it up. After the show, I was still humming along and suggested we hit up a 24-hour diner for some late night grub. Vegan whole grain banana pancakes made the night complete. I slept like a baby. A very happy baby that just crushed her last round of chemo.
Note to self: plan something fun on Wednesday nights to officially shake off the chemo dust and get back into action.
And back into action I am. Back at O'Melveny, at the basketball courts, and in the pool. Because my schedule is getting a little crazy in the next couple of weeks, I got another week off chemo to allow for the travel, etc. So not only did I get through Chemo Round 33 easily, I don't have Round 34 until the end of the month. Sweet deal.
There's no telling how long I'll have to be on chemo (my CEA remained stable, by the way), but when I get through treatment like this, it doesn't much matter. I'm happy and strong, and I can't ask for anything more. Well, maybe another Nicki Minaj concert. But that's it!