An Update

Ok, so apparently it's not over until the side effects say it's over.

Since you last saw me, I've been continuing to deal with the issues of my wonky GI (read: you all should be buying stock in Imodium) and the sudden onset of major peripheral neuropathy shortly after my last post.

It came on like a friggin freight train in early October--rapidly turning from some numbness in the soles of my feet to having numbness in my fingertips in addition to pins and needles from just below the knee down to the occasional shooting pain in my feet.

Fortunately, the major pains can be controlled with gabapentin (aka neurontin) but the numbness...it kinda makes it hard to do just about anything requiring fine motor control (hands) and my feet in this weather (-32F with wind chill today) are a total mess.

My feet have been a complete mess even before the snow, having to wear Crocs every single day, much to my eternal chagrin. While wearing Crocs outside the house is no longer an option (I've tried the wooly ones and they don't quite cut it), I haven't been able to find the perfect footwear solution for the cold.

For now, I'm wearing some Solomon snow clogs that have great traction and decent cushioning, but I still kick them off first thing upon returning home.

I've also started to get acupuncture for the neuropathy (different person than the last time) and it seems to be making a bit of difference, but since it's a hunt-peck sort of a treatment, it could be some time until we find all of my hot spots.

Also, I had a bone scan last week to see what damage the radiation did to my pelvis--don't really want to have to worry about breaking a hip at 40, especially living in this oft-icy climate! The good news is that the results were normal, which I assume means normal for my age, not a senior citizen.

Other than that stuff, things are going pretty well, as I finally started to feel like my old self (never really appreciated the meaning of that phrase until now) about a week or so ago. Guess that whole chemo half-life stuff is no joke.

The weight has come back on and stayed on (yay?), so now my health goals are to start working out a bit (we have a stationary bike and comprehensive weight set in the basement) and eat more produce--tough to do this time of year, I know.

Violet continues to be a real joy (her latest trick is saying "I did it" when she helps me buckle her into her car seat) and Jody is sleeping a lot better since my finishing treatment, which is pretty great. He's got new stresses with the whole economy-being-in-the-toilet thing (who doesn't), but they seem to pale in comparison to The Cancer.

Thanks for continuing to check-in on me. I hope you're all staying healthy and warm yourselves.

Here's to a better Oh Nine for all of us.


Megan said...

Ugh.I hate the neuropathy. And the winter makes it so much worse.

Mine is getting better (yea!) but last winter when it was really bad I bought myself some Aussi wool-fleece lined boots. They came in the mail and were so snug that I couldn't put socks on. At first I thought that would be a problem - less warmth - but I soon realized that without the socks catching on my toenails and bunching up, the pain was much better.

Just a thought...

I sending wishes of good, solid poop your way.

brigita said...

Ooh--Do you have a boot link to share? I'm really desperate for something warm for outdoors but need a push to pull the trigger (especially if they're Uggs).

I take it you had neuropathy as well? Has it abated somewhat? At all? Hope you're feeling your toes and pooping well, as well. :)

Megan said...

I went for ones that looked a little more heavy duty than the Uggs. They're by Acorn (I think it's an Aussi company) and they are waterproof as well as fleecy, so no wet toes on rainy days! I got them from amazon, but it looks like they're no longer there. You can look here:


or here:


and hopefully they'll have your size. But beware they run *small*! I wear an 8 (and got the 8) and had to do some serious stomping to get my foot in. That being said, the snugness definitely helped with the warmth and they've stretched out a bit after a few wears.

My neuropathy was pretty bad, but it's slowly become better. This summer I actually wore flip-flops without fear of cold or toe-bumpage and in the last 4 months or so I've been able to sleep without socks on when it's warm out. I still await the day when I can walk barefoot on the cold tile without yelping, "ow, ow, ow!" as I hop like I'm on hot coals.

brigita said...

Wow--Thank you *so* much for the recommendation. All of my non-cancer friends have been all "You like Crocs, then you'll looooove Uggs!" and I'm all "First Crocs, now Uggs? Is this Hell?"

I'm with you on the socks and fear of toe-bumping (hard to avoid when you have a toddler than thinks standing on your feet is highLARIOUS).

Trying to figure out what I'm going to do on our trip to Puerto Rico next month (I know, I shouldn't be complaining...) to be comfortable without looking a tourist. You know, outside of the fact that I'm Whitey McPalerson.