Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I'm feeling almost no hunger these days. I think it would be very
early for the cancer to be causing this, and I tend to link it to
stress. Though there is a dull pain in the lower stomach area
occasionally. It serves one of the very few daily reminders that that
there is Something Going On. In general my energy level and spirits
are surprisingly good. The support is hugely helpful in that regard.
I find my body is already speaking up as far as when food is good,
though. I had some brown rice and broccolini the other night and it
was one of the best tasting things I've had in a while. Clearly, just about
every dietitian on the planet would agree that brown rice and
vegetables are good for everybody, and that's not exactly news to me
either. But I find that body craves certain things and listening to
those cravings is difficult at first.

As an example, when I broke my leg in the 1991 motorcycle crash, they
put a rod in my femur. This is a big bone, and in order to make space
they took out the marrow. The rod is hollow and it has grown back now,
surely. But right after that surgery I intensely craved steak and
broccoli, two high-iron foods. I never cared for steak and I hated
broccoli so that was odd to me at the time.

I was vegetarian for 7 years (and vegan for 3 of those) and I find of
all the varied and variously wacky food plans I've followed the best
diet for me is a vegetarian + fish diet, what I call Fish-atarian. I
learned the other day that breast cancer is nearly unheard of in
Japanese women and this linked sometimes to their nutrition, as
Japanese tend to eat a diet rich in fish. Whether this is a
coincidence or not remains to be seen, but most people would tend to
agree that fish is good for you regardless.

Further statistics: bladder cancer usually affect urban, white males
over 50. I'm not 50 yet, but the rest applies. I guess all that clean
mountain air wasn't quite enough to cleanse the system. Maybe the 8
years of high altitude (9,000 feet) deprived the cells of oxygen and
thus weakened the system. I dunno. Other risk factors (compiled from a
variety of sources) for bladder cancer include smoking (I occasionally
smoke a tobacco pipe but Dr Ungawa brushed that off as not
significant) working with certain chemicals such as Benzene, and
having had too much artificial sweetener or caffeine. I did work with
Benzene though not for very long, and I definitely have been
unhealthily hooked on caffeine in my life. I also pounded the Diet
Coke for years. I'm now off caffeine altogether, have been since my
diverticulosis episode, where the iv-fluid/feeding bag was rudely
caffeine free, so I went through the Caffeiene withdrawal in the
hospital and decided to just stay off it.

I have been having some difficulty sleeping and that could be stress
as well. I have resorted to the Ambien the last few nights. My
prescription bottle is nearly empty and they are loathe to refill it
since it can become habit-forming. The last 'scrip of 20 pills lasted
me about a year, but I've been burning through them the past few weeks.
What I'm really missing right now is going to the gym. I don't want to
overdo it, but the last few times I was there (before the biopsy) I
had intense lower abdominal pain and had to stop. This was just doing
the elliptical, which is a very common machine for me. So I'm walking
now, which seems to be fine. The bicycle for some reason is also not
good right now, which sucks.

Off to teach at Big Box Driving School, though this will be my last
day for the next while. I have enjoyed the distraction and I'm happy
to have finally gotten in with a school that seems well-managed with a
good curriculum that I can get behind. Definitely the best program
I've found yet. Hopefully I'll be able to come back to it after all of

This post seems a little somber. Mostly its just morning.

- M


Anonymous said...

Oh FFS you've got Teh Cancer, you need all the rest you can get however you can manage to get it. They should just refill the Ambien *and* give you a prescription for some anti-anxiety meds.

Austringer said...

Strange, the craving for iron after having a steel rod inserted in your leg. One would think the body would understand that steel is largely ferrous, and would accordingly say, "Thanks!"

Just as people who have been shot are wont to say, "No more lead, please, if it's all the same to you."

Austringer said...

Actually, "Austringer" is not my name. It's somebody else's, but Google does insist that if anybody using your computer ever used any name,at any time, it is your name forever.

Anyway, my name is actually Paw.

M said...

Well since it is aluminum, perhaps my body knew that I wouldn't be getting any iron from it. I am space-aged, you know. High-tech.

M said...

And yes, more pills!

Eclector2 said...

Mom here: I don't think that more pills are the answer. Sleeplessness is not a disease that requires medication. You need to find other ways to turn off your brain. When I'm not sleeping I get up and read. I also work on reducing stimulation before bedtime. Sometimes I do stretches or yoga before bed. Eventually a lack of sleep result in being sleepy enough to get a good nights sleep.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael! I have used Melatonin for sleep on occasion with good results http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melatonin. There's always the cannabis for appetite (and sleep). Don't know what the laws are in MN but here in CA a prescription would be forthcoming with little to no issue. Your mom made some good suggestions! -Anya K.

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