Hi - I haven't posted to this blog for a while. I think it's because now we are In The Middle and there doesn't seem like a lot to say. We have established a rhythm of sorts with the chemo - George goes in on a Monday, he starts feeling mildly bad that night, then feels worse until about Friday, then starts picking up again on Saturday. For the second week he keeps feeling better and better, until he feels pretty good on the weekend just before he has to go in for chemo again. He described it kind of like being asked to stick your finger into a wall socket on purpose every two weeks. And while we are grateful and thrilled that the chemo is working so well, it is still hard to do and 6 more sessions and three more months seems like a long time.
George and I went for a 30-mile bike ride from Louisville out east to Erie last Sunday and neither of us was feeling that great. I was not going too fast and neither was George. I kept thinking that I am never going to be in shape for the Copper Triangle (85 miles over three mountain passes in August). We were all disappointed in ourselves and then when we got home w found out that the temperature was around 100 degrees! George was happy to realize that he wasn't feeling bad from the chemo, he was just feeling bad because it was hot!
So, how does halfway feel? The PICC line is kind of a pain because it requires more daily maintenance than the power port did. However, the PICC line gives him better range of motion and does not seem as noticeable to him as he does all of his activities. The chemicals still feel nasty. However, George is feeling better in some ways because the tumors are gone so his body is no longer getting rid of them and he can breathe more easily (some of them were near his lungs). I told George that he has to keep being a warrior - keep going in when he'd rather not, so that he can completely get rid of all the cancer cells and he will stay healthy for years to come. Also, I told him that he IS allowed to ride his mountain bike, but he is NOT allowed to fall! No falling, buster. Just STAY ON THAT BIKE! So far, he's done a good job of it, although I suspect that the whole "I promise to ride like a Grandma" thing has a few holes in it.
On the vegan front, I still have not eaten any meat since March 1, although I have eaten a bit of dairy now and then. George has eaten more meat and dairy than I have, but I think he just needs to listen to his body right now, and eat what tastes good to him. There are many foods that completely turn him off right after he's had chemo. For some reason all the chemo patients seem to like french fries and potato chips. Also, he says that the smell of fish can make him feel sick so it's kind of like being pregnant.
One really cool thing about going vegan has been that I completely got rid of my joint pain. I had been having pain in my knees and elbows over the last year or so, and that has completely gone away. I think this has something to do with animal products leading to more inflammation and vegetable products getting rid of it. We've been eating a lot of the "super foods" that you read about - walnuts, almonds, berries, spinach, flax seed, and, of course, chocolate!
For all you would-be vegans out there, here is a really great recipe I have tried that doesn't seem like your traditional vegan recipe at all.
Mediterranean Pasta with Kale
Cook 1 lb whole wheat pasta, such as penne or bow tie pasta
1 bunch kale, chopped into small pieces with large ribs removed.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1/4 cup pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the whole wheat pasta in boiling salted water.
Heat about 1 cup water in a large skillet and cook the kale in it until soft. Drain and remove the kale.
Heat 1tbsp olive oil in the skillet and saute the garlic until clear. Add kale and lemon juice and salt and pepper and heat. Continue cooking until the kale is nice and soft.
Add drained pasta to the skillet and toss.
Serve on a large platter topped with the pine nuts.
This is really delicious and is even good topped with a little parmesan or romano cheese for cheese-lovers, but it is great without the cheese too because the pine nuts provide a nice piquant touch.
George just told me that I should not use the word "piquant" in this blog, but it's my entry so I'm leaving it in. HA!
Anyhow, signing off now and going to try to get some sleep!