Monday, May 23, 2005

What Now?

I seem to have recovered a lot from my breathing problems, but I'm out of shape. I've been eating really oddly.

So now it's time to start my own personal re-hab. My first change is going to be two servings of vegetables and/or fruit with dinner every night. And although I still have some neuropathy, Bob and I can walk since the weather is warm. Humid. I can't wait until I have more hair because my wig makes my head sweat.

Tonight is the first night I'll be able to have dinner with Adam since he got home from school, and I'm thinking I'll grill pears and serve them with a thin slice of prosciutto. Then a grilled steak for Adam, and part of a grilled steak for me an Bob (sliced into strips) with some shrimp. And a vegetable of edamamae and corn. Bob and I have learned that a good lean steak sliced into strips looks more elegant and more filling than a four ounce piece of meat just sitting there on the plate. And Bob has had a craving for shrimp so I'll cook up some of those, too.

I got watermelon for desert. Because it looked so good.

Every day I will try to make some healthy choices. On June 1, my membership with Curves will be re-instated (I had a medical suspension) and I'll start slow and easy on curcuit training.

Next week, after Wiscon, I meet Dr. Schnur and we talk about what comes next. Radiation reduces my risk of relapse by 10% but increases my risk of complications and does not increase my chance of overall survival--if I were to relapse, they would do a stem cell transplant and salvage chemo and after all is said and done, the survival statistics for people like me are the same either way. On the other hand, stem cell transplants are scary--they pump you full of drugs to stimulate white blood cell production until your bones ache like mad, harvest your own cells, then give you a chemo that wipes out your own immune system as well as, with luck, the lymphoma. You're in hospitalized isolation until your immune system comes back. There is about a 50% remission rate with stem cell transplants. So I have to decide which I fear more, relapse or stem cell transplant, and then if 10% is significant enough to worry.

I am leaning towards no radiation. I am thinking it is time to get on.


Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

That's a hell of a choice to have to make. I think I'd go with no radiation, too, for the same reasons.

Your Healthy Maureen program sounds, not only admirable, but do-able. And I've said before, I want to eat dinner at your house, with all the interesting food (let us know how the grilled pears come out!).

May 23, 2005 7:11 PM  
Blogger Julie Hamilton said...

Hi Maureen

Glad you're starting to feel more active and that you had a wonderful trip to NM.

As a 5 week post-chemo girl, I was going to join Curves. What do you think about it? It seems nearly ideal to help with strength and stamina, but I'm cynical about gyms and wonder if it really is a good idea.

Hope you're feeling stronger every day. (Ever tried grilled peaches? They're awesome!)


May 23, 2005 10:16 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Julie, I LOVE grilled peaches.

Curves is great because it's thirty minutes and out. I tend to feel as if I should do more at the gym and then if I start doing more, I stop going because it's too much. But Curves is ten minutes away from my by car. I can usually make myself go three times a week.

It's not a great work out, but it's a decent one. I can tell the difference not doing it, even though I haven't gained much weight.

May 23, 2005 10:49 PM  
Blogger Julie Hamilton said...

Thanks for the info Maureen. I'm going to do a trial workout tomorrow to see if it's right for me. Truth is, I won't feel fully comfortable til I get rid of this stinkin' port -- hopefully in the next couple of weeks!

And, as a Georgia girl, I'm glad you like them grilled peaches!

:-) Julie

May 24, 2005 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary T. here.

"two vegetables or fruits at dinner"? At your house, this shouldn't be a problem -- you were the one who taught me about the grilled vegetables. Oh lordy do I love grilled veggies. Those little packs of red and orange peppers are the absolute best. I just spray them with olive oil and put them in a medium oven for an hour. I'm faint just thinking about them. Fortunately, I picked up a package at Trader Joe's yesterday. Plus guacamole, salad, a touch of pico de gallo (or however you spell it). And watermelon, yes, watermelon, by all means.

I estimate I ate about a thousand calories too much each day in Taos. It wasn't hard to do. On the way home, Geoff and I stopped at a couple of restaurants that serve local stuff: posale, carne adobado or however you spell it. I tried making it when we got home, but it wasn't a big success.

Say, one of my former students became a biochemist and he says mushrooms (well, specifically maitake) show evidence of having anti-cancer chemicals in them. So how about some grilled portobellos?

May 26, 2005 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, what's the eight hundred year survival rate for Hodgkins plus chemo? Abysmal. Seven hundred year? Six? Heck, looking it up, I see that your chances of surviving a mere hundred years are pretty slim.

I know they're working hard on this stuff, but we'd better hope for some medical breakthroughs soon.

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