It's been awhile since I've given much of an update. I feel like I've been waiting for one too. It's finally time...
After being gone for 12 days, I have several appointments this week plus round 4 of chemo. But today alone will be an exhausting and expensive day as I have back to back appointments, one with my integrative oncologist, the other with my naturopathic physician. Neither will be covered by my insurance, but both are necessary to continue receiving the personalized cancer treatment I desire. How expensive you ask? Between$250-500 per hour, not including labs or supplements. *sigh* By the end of the day today, my total will exceed our monthly rent due later this week. Perspective is everything though when it comes to prioritizing the cost of it all. Our job is to work with what we have and trust God in his provision. If you feel inclined to help with these expenses, we've set up a fee-free donation account here. Even $5 helps right now.
The Top 3 topics with my wonderful integrative oncologist were STRESS, EXERCISE, and FOOD. I don't have to explain the stress part. I think you all get that! But how to remove or reduce it is harder to answer. I am working again, less than before, but thankful to be able to. (Shameless plug: If you're interested in booking a painting party with me, I have limited dates available. Visit my website for details.) I've learned that "energy conservation" means more than turning the lights off when you leave the room. For me, it means saying NO to normal everyday activities in order to pace myself for the necessary ones. Like missing out on a brunch I'd been looking forward to this weekend. Or going to a strings concert this evening with my mom. (Yay! She's here!!) Saying no so I can rest equals less stress. In theory.
Finding energy for exercising is a huge challenge right now. Chemo is kicking my butt and zapping my energy. I sorely miss my aqua zumba classes but the public pool is not the place for me right now. I had been going to the Y 2 or 3 times a week but now just walking around the block once is all I can manage. Most days I'm not even doing that. Please pray. Or maybe come walk with me?
Food. I don't even want to think about food right now. For those of you that have brought our family dinner (or considered it) you know how restricted my diet is. It just got a makeover and now it's even more limited. After seeing the integrative oncologist this morning, it just so happened that my appointment with my naturopath today was to go over the extensive food allergen test results. Anything that causes inflammation in my body is weakening my immune system and allowing mutations, like cancer cells, to thrive. Think of it like a distraction to my immune system. My cells are fighting food allergens instead of cancer or bacteria and viruses I'm exposed to. The good news is that I now know what I can safely eat to give my body what it needs and avoid unnecessary burdens. The bad news is I'm allergic or highly sensitive to 75% of the staple items I've been eating since my diagnosis (and before that too). We'll be updating the meal train to just feed Charlie and the boys now. It'll be too hard to have my meals brought now but still a huge help to have my family cared for. A huge thank you from my family to yours ❤
I appreciate the love notes and thoughtful gifts I've received the last few weeks. Your prayers and words of encouragement are so important to me. THANK YOU!