Thursday, July 09, 2015

Best Steroid Day Ever!

With Pomalyst, as with Revlimid, there is an accompanying low dose dexamethasone. A steroid.  Not the "up your batting average" steroid, but a muscle wasting, insanity-inducing steroid.  I have had bad steroid days where I was weak and homicidal.  I have had days where I get a burst of manic energy, they aren't good, but they are productive.  I have had headache like someone is squeezing my head in a vice and combing my hair hurts. But I've never had a good one.

Now I have read that sugar exacerbates these symptoms.  And there have been several times where I have successfully given up sugar for periods of time.  But never during chemo.  I don't really drink.  I haven't done an illegal drug in over three decades and even those were nothing to speak of.  I don't smoke.

No, sugar is my drug.  Chocolate, but any candy will do except circus peanuts - that's Muriel's thing.  Cake, pie, cookies, brownies, pastry, a source, I'm an addict.  As a matter of fact, in the most stressful times in my life, I pour Plain M&M's into a glass of regular Coca Cola and stir.  It's like maintaining sugar.

So while I am long past panic about Multiple Myeloma, no one can be serene about chemo.  No one can listen to the precautions and warnings and side effects and the be blase about popping a pill in your mouth that comes out of wrappings that say "Caution -Poison".

Therefore, preparation for my chemo days (7 or 10 or 14 or 21) always includes sugar.  Sometimes I give it a half hearted effort and it's fruit and vanilla wafers or loaded salads - natural sugars.  But a sugar is a sugar.

And I am the queen of "next month" or "Monday is a good day to start".  Actually that one cracks me up.  I no longer work, sometimes I don't ever know it's Monday!

And this month didn't start out special.  July 1st; toast with eggs, big salad with onions, carrots, tomatoes & dressing; cheeseburger with ketchup on a bun and red licorice whips.  Two hours after the last thing I ate, my first Pomalyst.  July 2nd was the first steroid.  They are taken on the second and eighth day in the morning (or what passes for it in my world) with food. It was a non-descript day, I laid around, no energy burst, but no rage either.

Then for some reason the next day, I just decided to do Atkins.  I have an on & off relationship with Atkins.  In 2003, I lost 92 pounds.  I kept the bulk of that off for years. But like the IgA numbers, that number has been creeping up.  I haven't really cared.

Anyway it's been surprisingly easy.  I don't see anything that tempts me, Tom & I don't have the same taste in snacks.  There isn't as much time to think about it, Pomalyst makes it hard to get to sleep, but once I get there.....I'm down for a minimum of ten hours.  Now that I watch almost everything on the DVR or the Amazon Fire Stick - no commercials to make me pine for something.  I have no go-to-dinner friends here as opposed to Boston, where it's a never ending cycle of restaurants and take-out.

So last night was the 7th Pomalyst.  Dead center of the cycle.  Making this morning the 2nd steroid.  And the 7th day on Atkins.  For non-Atkins people seven days doesn't sound like much, but it means you are in the zone; peeing purple, past the sugar withdrawal.  Now it's just a matter of not forgetting and eating something without tthinking.

I went to the Town pool in Gypsy Hill Park.  I packed frozen water & chopped up steak.  I have a new Jack Reacher book from the library.  The pool is much nicer than I had been told.  The shallow end was crowded, but the other end is fairly empty and 13 feet deep.  No one really swims.  They sit on the edge & dangle their feet.  They jump in and cling to the edge.  So it was basically all for me.

I swam.  I read.  I ate & drank.  I sunned myself and relaxed.

Only one, steroid symptom - a tightness in my throat when I walked fast or uphill.  That's it.  No fatigue.  No rage.  No weakness.  No vice like headache. Just relaxation and enjoyment.

If it's the sugar, I've got a lot of thinking to do.