Thursday, June 24, 2010


This Ambien is strong stuff. I took my last one last night and perhaps
I could have taken 1/2 after my long day. I set the alarm for 10 am
just to make sure I wouldn't sleep all day and was surprised that I
was still sleeping like a log when it went off.

My friend S has a connection to some high-powered herbal sleep stuff
-- that he gets from a chiropractor -- that works so well that one
needs to be careful with it. I took some on a motorcycle trip (one of
those endurance rides where you have an 8-hour window to sleep and you
really need to be asleep for all of it) and was groggy and probably
unsafe to ride all the next day. And I think I took 1/2 of one. So
maybe 1/4 of those if I take it again.

Today, as mentioned, I actually got to sleep in a little. I will take
the Poor Doggie, Kaia, (who spent most of yesterday inside) for a walk after
I talk to Mayo, and then head off to get Mom for the Oncologist's appt.
Some of the main things that I hope to find out today: how serious is
it and how soon should I have surgery? What will MY course of chemo be
like? Will I need radiation? From my extremely limited experience,
which is the guy that I finally start getting some answers from -- the
person that starts to tie it all together and direct my care.

I am interested in working with a nutritionist, but I am aware that
most dietitians are trained based on 1950's food pyramids. As an
example, the very first meal they game me in the hospital aver my
diverticulosis experience (where all of my nutrients came via IV for
several days afterward) was essentially beefy hamburger helper. Fat,
red meat, tomatoes and refined flour. Yum. A balanced meal for anyone.
I know that there are good dietitians / nutritionists out there, but
sifting through the pile will be challenging.

I did not succeed in being vegetarian yesterday, mostly because all
the salad options that looked halfway decent at dinner all had chicken
in them. So at least I'm off red meat, Baby steps. I managed to have
just one drink at dinner (a margarita: I was told that water and
citrus are good for me, so that's my excuse). And I had had a hard
day. But I passed on the beer later, twice. So that's something.


J said...

Michael - for a nutritionist, I highly recommend Carolyn Denton at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing (affiliated w/ and next to Abbott). She definitely thinks outside the food pyramid and follows the latest scientific research and studies closely and has experience advising patients on how to support themselves nutritionally during treatment as well as to prevent recurrence. After my first appointment with her, she printed out the studies she had mentioned and gave me copies. She's extremely well-regarded in town, which means it may take a little while to get in to see her, so I'd call soon. You can ask your oncologist for a referral to see her and your insurance may cover the visits (mine did).

Also - Nancy Cox, who is associated with Abbott and the Institute, is a free Health Coach available to cancer patients. I recommend seeing her - she's good at helping put all the pieces (including your "real life outside of cancer") together.

Hope this helps! -Jill S

M said...

Thanks for the info, Jill. This really helps.

cmmastro said...

Don't take herbals if you are taking an SSRI antidepressant. A lot of the anti anxiety/sleep herbals are SSRIs and you can inadvertently end up with an SSRI overdose - coma, seizures, cardiac toxicity...... bad, very bad.

Ambien is the sleep of the damned. Hate the stuff.

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