Wednesday, June 25, 2008

no mo’ chemo’

At least for now. I went to Motol on Monday to have my stitches out and consult with my oncologist about my current and future treatment. They replaced my stitches with some sort of greenish stinging sticky stuff – green being the common denominator somehow of all human skin tone.

I then went to see Dr. Kubáčková, armed with arguments, supporting documents, and determined to make my point(s) about (at the very least) postponing more chemo until after radiation. All of which turned out to be entirely unnecessary. She agreed with me that chemo was probably counter-productive, given my circumstances (at this point), and encouraged me to apply for the clinical trial in Seattle following my radiation treatment and a further all-body CT scan scheduled for July 24th.

She promptly cancelled what would have been my sixth chemo cycle, which had been scheduled for two weeks from now. I still have blood tests this Friday, but am now pretty free from daily professional cancer patient duties until July 9th (CT scan and radiation planning). I’m going to focus solely on beefing up my (cyto)toxically-ravaged immune system and finally losing my hospital legs.

I’ve quit smoking for good (pretty much); have (mostly) stopped eating meat and am taking a myriad (that's right) of supplements meant to detoxify my system. I’m up to a maximum of two (alcoholic) beers and one cup of coffee (used to drink a liter in the morning) a day – replacing both with tons of juice and Chinese tea. I’ve cut out most fats and sugars from my diet and will dramatically increase my antioxidant intake (not recommended during chemo) next week.

I’ll be spending more time at the pool (after 3PM - cheaper and healthier) and yes, probably taking up yoga, of all things. Any and all lifestyle/diet advice is always appreciated, but not necessarily followed ;-)

I’m really glad I got away from chemotherapy relatively unscathed. The few side effects I did have (all-body nausea, extreme fatigue, etc.) were nothing compared to what many experience. Even the hints of worse to come were scary: burning tears, vomiting in restaurants (last Sunday brunch after first three bites – real nice), for example. I’m dropping the chemo, not because it flat out sucks and was getting worse; but because it’s unhealthy and actually carcinogenic, counter-intuitive and counter-productive. Thanks.


Liz said...

Congratulations for being so critically involved and proactive, and very very well done for all those diet and lifestyle changes you're making. I am genuinely admiring. And I'm sure your body will thank you enormously, of course!
Big hug, clever man.

Anonymous said...

hey mike, glad to hear of the upswing. si se puede!
how about some lighter-themed stuff for the blog? a little comedic interlude? a little prazske jaro for summer?
"fortasse et haec meminisse iuvabit" as they say. love, tim

Anonymous said...


It's a good sign that both you and the doctor independently came up with the same decision. I hope that the chemo is rapidly exiting your system. (vomiting in restaurants? ugh...)

Ok, now for a bit of life-style advice: If you are doing Yoga, I think you should go the whole nine yards and start your own religion.I have some ideas, which I'll run by you when I come to visit. I hope your appetite is back up by then...

Hasta pronto,

Francisco said...

Come bien: mucha fruta y verdura, que te ayudaran a sintetizar nuevas células y a cuidar tus tejidos.
No fumes y si puedes quítate esas dos cervezas con alcohol al día que te tomas, ya que el alcohol y el tabaco se comen también tus glóbulos rojos.
Conserva tu alegría en las cosas que haces y la confianza en que te pondrás bien.
Muchos besos. Te queremos.
Rebeca y Paco

Maie said...

Hey mikey,
it's been a few weeks since I read your blog. Glad you finally get a break from the grueling chemo.

Giving up meat is a good thing, I've read a lot of frightening studies about links to meat consumption and higher incidences of cancer... it sort of convinced me to give it up last year (she says puffing on a camel light). Just make sure you get all of your vitamins and minerals from other natural food sources... smazeny syr does not count as a food group :-)

If you are interested I can suggest that you start reading up on 'the raw food' diet. Some of the people that promote it are obviously crackpot hippies, but there are others who are far more sensible and give a convincing argument. I went on it for a while and never felt better.

Yoga is never a bad thing either. Happy to hear you have so much support from great people.

Go team mikey!

Maie x

Pamela said...

Yoga is the one thing that helped me quit smoking. I haven't had a cigarette in almost 7 years now. Something about being upside down and breathing a lot seemed to do the trick. Hope it helps you like it helped me.