4 months free

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Hello, my name is Claudine and I’ve been drug-free for 4 months.

In my last post, a few months ago, I’d started the banting diet.  I stopped that after 2 weeks because my liver was taking strain.  Or so I was told. It was already working to capacity processing the chemo toxins and wasn’t coping with the extra demand I‘d placed on it to process a high fat diet.

I couldn’t in fact, feel that my liver was taking strain but it seemed to make sense so I stopped the diet.

An aside: It’s interesting how we lay people once upon a time consulted health professionals to enable us to make better choices for ourselves.  Now we tend to take their word as gospel no matter how it feels for us.  Why did we hand over this power to anyone other than ourselves?  A reasonable guess, I suppose, is to have someone to blame when anything goes wrong.  What an unfair burden to put on doctors.  What a reckless shirking of responsibility on our part.  I’d decided this consciously a while ago but now I’m stating it clearly.  I’m responsible for my own health.  I seek the advice of professionals in their field but ultimately, whether I heed the advice is my own choice.  The result is then also of my own making.

I felt better after stopping the diet and have left my body to reset itself while I nourish it as best I can.  I’d like to take up the diet again but this 4 month break has been all about recovering.

In the meantime

In that time, I visited the gynaecological oncologist twice, had 2 tumour markers each a month apart and met with my oncologist.  The marker increased (not a good thing) both times.  I was again urged to consider oral / maintenance chemo.  I consented, encouraged by the fact that it’d take only 1 month to ascertain whether it is working.  I’m still waiting for the deregistered (read, “lots of red tape and paperwork”) Etoposide to arrive in the country.

Moving on

I’ve taken up rollerblading, falling a good number of times but not hurting myself badly.  It’s a slow learning process but exhilarating!  I have the lowest level of fear that I’ve ever had.  It feels as though growing up, I gathered these fears as a cloak I’ve been wearing and now I’ve discarded it knowing the fears merely hold me back.  I’m able to consciously measure the fear, determine where it comes from, and then decide whether or not to ignore it.  If you’ve ever had anything in your life change your perspective then you’ll understand how liberating this feels.

I’ve also taken to riding my bicycle along the promenade early in the morning.  I’ve been very aware of my energy levels and if I don’t feel up to it, I don’t get out there.  My body’s taken enough strain in the past couple of years.  I believe I’m better for having listened to my body.  Right now, I’m writing this having spent over an hour in the garden, cleaned myself up, and will have strength to make a good supper afterwards.  Before, I’d have managed 45 minutes and needed a long nap after.

I‘ve been able to slack on the military-style shopping and can amble a bit more.  The work day still feels too long but it’s good for me to have the routine.  I also gained a companion which has made a big impact.  More on that in another post.

Happy New Year

In hindsight, 4 months is not long.  My health improvement has been very subtle but steady which pleases me.  So I’m still around, happy and taking care of myself.  I hope for you and for myself that 2015 offers opportunities to develop and grow and that we meet those opportunities with open-minded curiosity rather than fear.

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