Sunday, January 22, 2012

Get the Skinny

Cancer caused me to lose about 15 pounds I didn't really need to drop, through a phenomenon with the terribly nineteenth-century name wasting. Wasting occurs when tumors direct the body to eat its own muscle mass. It replaced my fairly fit, youngishly-middle-aged physique with that of a little old chicken-lady who lives on cigarettes and 3.2 beer and has never exercised a day in her life.

Luckily, chemotherapy and massive quantities of naturopath-prescribed fish oil have stabilized me at about size 4. I should enjoy it while it lasts: if you don't look too closely, you might mistake me for a cover girl, fashionably shorn and anorexic. To paraphrase the comedian Sarah Silverman, I don't care if you think I have cancer, as long as you think I'm thin.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow Day

Following each round of chemo, I have a mediocre week, during which my modus operandi is muddling. The next week I'm a limp rag, a thing you'd use to clean the bathtub, with hardly the energy even to resent it. Then, bizarrely, miraculously, I perk right up for a week. That is the time I try to eat right and exercise. I dance; I take brisk walks; and, this past week, I went snowshoeing in a modest way.

Rick and I spent Monday night at Mazama Lodge, a rustic structure on Mt. Hood run by the mountaineering organization with which he is very involved. It snowed and snowed while we were there, all day and all night. (Before we left, Rick would have to dig the car out with a shovel). The lodge's floor-to-ceiling windows framed a view of what looked like Russia--you could practically hear the Tchaikovsky in the background. The dark limbs of fir trees sagged under the weight of all that snow. Twice we ventured out to play, and even in our snowshoes, we sank into the powder practically up to our knees.

Friday, January 13, 2012

In Good Company

You know how when you learn a new word, suddenly you see it everywhere?

The same is true of diseases.


Sometimes material turns up around our house with editorial commentary.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy Dance

My oncologist has told me that I am now at the half-way point of treatment. I'm very glad for this information, because the unknown can take any dark shape one can imagine, and I had been envisioning a chemotherapy dragon devouring much of 2012. This news also means that treatment is working, which I really didn't know a month ago. Now it appears that my last treatment will be in early March. At that point I should be tumor-free, and can begin the process of recovering from chemo. So I'm dancing a little jig. When I've finished choreographing the steps, I'll teach it to you, and you can all dance it with me.