So, here we are.

So far, I've undergone 12 out of the 30 radiation treatments to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer.

I am tired.

I am SO tired.

But I'm more than one-third done, which is really good because I am tired and I can't imagine how I'm going to function at all if the fatigue gets any worse.

I am here to tell you that when your doctor warns you about the fatigue associated with radiation, you should listen. It's real.  This is not the kind of tired where a nice nap makes it all better --this is a fatigue so deep to the bone that I'm too tired to change lanes if I get behind a bus. This is a kind of fog that has stolen about 25% of my mental acuity--I'm struggling to remember names and dates. Stan has called out for reinforcements.

It turns out that in the process of irradiating the area where the surgeons took the cancer cells out in order to make it a hostile environment for new cancer cells to grow, a lot of healthy cells get damaged, too. And the physical body, ever valiant, is waging its own war to heal those cells, only to have more damage done the next day.

Naturally, I envision the fight as played out in a scene from Star Trek --as one does.  (Just look away if you are not a Trekkie.)  So, my body is the Enterprise and I keep wanting it to go warp speed, but Scotty is giving her all he's got and I'm still just limping along on impulse power. You read me?

(Oh, like you didn't already know I was a nerd!)

Anyway, I'm trying bulletproof coffee for the brain fog, even though it's obviously not vegan. I'm actually challenging a lot of the restrictions I had placed on myself around my diet because I realized that almost all of my rules around food were fear-based and, well, you know, I got cancer anyway. So, if it fits within my acceptable ethical framework, I'm trying to stay open as I seek the optimal healing diet. I'll have more to say about this in another blog post, assuming Stan ever lets me out of bed.


Shaatizie said…
I am with you all the way. I feel what you are saying, and it is fatiguing just to be outside looking in.
I read in the Health section of the Washington Post that a lot of cancer specialists are finding shortening the duration of chemo and such practices actually provides as much deterance as the full usual term, AND doesn't stress the body so much. I'd look that article up if you are interested in seeing it—or maybe you could pick it up on line.

Also, I've found an interesting book I'm now reading, and it might interest you:
"One Spirit Medicine—Ancient Ways to Ultimate Wellness"
Alberto Villoldo, PH.D.
Author of "Shaman,Healer, Sage."
He's new to me but I'm finding a condensation of dietary ideas and also information on how and why our 'modern' diseases aren't found in certain societies in the world, and what they do that we don't. Or can't with our current food supply.

Praying for your healthy return from this journey and holding you in the light.

Barb Matijevich said…
I'm not doing chemo, just the radiation and unfortunately, 30 treatments is pretty standard and evidence-based. But I will look up that book--I am always interested in hearing about other takes on healing! Thanks for the tip!
ccr in MA said…
I'm sorry that you're so very tired, but glad you updated! It's so interesting to think about how your diet choices were fear-based. I hope that you can find what helps you get through this phase, and strongly onto the next.
Elizabeth Creech said…
Love your Star Trek reference! Just a little over a year ago I was going through radiation for my colo-rectal cancer. I can't really recall how many treatments I had, because after that I had six months of chemo. The radiation does zap your energy and its cumulative, but what I do remember clearly is how quickly I recovered. Within three weeks after the last radiation treatment I felt like I had my normal energy level back and was able to maintain it. I was 56 at the time, just for reference. I too was was trying eat healthy, but one day my cranial sacral message therapist suggested I go get a Cinnabon! It was the most guilt free cinnamon roll I ever ate! I later learned that I had a complete response to the radiation treatment. The stage 3 tumor completely disappeared and has stayed gone through my one year follow up. So I am very grateful for the radiation treatments, despite the fact that I would have much preferred to juice the cancer away. Love and light to you Barbara!
tanita✿davis said…
Just about all of my dietary choices but one are fear-based, so I feel ya on that.
I'm so glad to hear from you - give my love to Stan, because apparently he's moving in for a bit. Illegitimi non carborundum. ♥