It’s Saturday, 44 days after The News.
The medical oncologist had indicated that the FOLFOX chemotherapy regimen is generally well-tolerated. So yesterday I was at a loss as to why I still had some residual nausea, three days after the infusion. After carefully checking the medication list, I found I’d missed one: the weekly prescription of McDonald’s! The oncologist had forgotten to actually write the prescription so I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to get or the exact dosage. I was fairly certain she wasn’t calling for ice cream since Oxaliplatin knocked anything cold off the list, and surely she couldn’t have meant one of the fat- and salt-laden salads. (Actually the salads can be healthy – and tasty – if you choose grilled rather than crispy chicken and select a low-fat dressing like the balsamic.) But since it was “Free Fries Friday” that seemed like an appropriate choice. Along with a large $1 cup of iced tea (it was 95 degrees and I’d just walked half a mile…) I think it worked better than the Zofran and Compazine I’d been taking the past few days!
Ice cream shopping when you have cancer
After a week of nice weather in the 70s, the mercury started climbing yesterday and, if you believe the iOS weather app it hit 98 degrees this afternoon. My car on the other hand claims it reached 101. Either way it was a HOT Saturday. And since the Oxaliplatin-induced cold sensitivity had worn off (as had the nausea, thanks to the dose of McDonald’s fries yesterday), I had a craving for ice cream. So I headed across the street to Safeway intent on getting some no-sugar-added Klondike bars. Until I saw they were $6 for a six pack. Weren’t they on sale just yesterday for $3.99? I wandered down the aisle browsing the (rather many) on-sale alternatives. Tilamook white chocolate raspberry got my attention, until I looked at the sugar content. 27g per serving. Way too high. The no-sugar-added Klondike bar had 5g. If you’ve followed this blog then you know that there’s a lot of talk about sugar feeding cancer, and some cancer patients actively avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates on the theory they can promote cancer growth. The relationship is a quite a bit more convoluted (among other things there’s this insulin-producing organ called the pancreas which tries to mediate your glucose level), and there doesn’t seem to be any research substantiating it. But lack of evidence doesn’t mean there isn’t some relationship, and at this point I’m of a mind to moderate my sugar intake. After all I just spent two days not washing my hair because of that tumor. No sugar-laden ice cream for you!
There were keto ice creams which seemed promising but the flavor selection was limited. Apparently people on the keto diet don’t like chocolate. Then there was some cashew milk ice cream that I eyed warily. JT was recently extolling its virtues, but I’ll just take her word for it. Eventually I settled on a Dreyer’s Fudge Tracks No Sugar Added ice cream. 5g sugar/serving, just like the no-sugar-added Klondike bars. But what really put it over the top was a warning on the back that “sensitive individuals may experience a laxative effect from excess consumption” of maltitol syrup, polydextrose, and sorbitol. I’d been taking Colace for the past few days as instructed and stopped today since the infusion nurse said I should only need it for three or four days. But just in case…what a pity if I have to OD on ice cream? So I got the container – for purely medicinal purposes of course!
Another Day, Another Anti-Cancer Food
While I doubt Dreyer’s Fudge Tracks ice cream has any anti-cancer properties, it’s truly amazing how many foods out there do. Partially out of curiosity, and partially out of a desire to give my treatment every chance it has of killing (or at least shrinking) the tumor, I’ve started looking into what I put into my mouth in a bit more detail.
And today its hummus. Hummus isn’t something I used to eat regularly since I avoid any food served with or in the vicinity of or mentioned in the same sentence with lamb. (My experience with “lamb curry” at IBM Hursley Labs in Winchester, UK deserves its own post. Let’s just say after two spoonful’s, the second of which may not have made it down my throat, I headed back to the serving line. Boiled brussels sprouts never seemed so good!) But hummus (sans lamb connotations) made a reappearance in my diet recently since JT is, for medical reasons, on a restricted diet that excludes gluten, dairy, soy, and probably a couple other things I’ve forgotten. So we’ve been ending up at Oren’s Hummus, where I’ve developed a fondness for the hummus eggplant.
Imagine my surprise when I found that hummus is not only nutritious but also has anti-cancer properties. One article claims it can reduce colon, cancer, breast and prostate cancer risks by 50%. And if you’re a mouse the compounds in the chickpeas can destroy 64% of your precancerous colon growths. (Do you wonder why there seem to be so many mice? It’s because we keep figuring out how to cure them of various diseases. Don’t think they don’t use that information for their own purposes!)
If you want to make your own hummus here’s a recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research.
When the medi-port was placed, the nurse said to let the clear liquid bandage come off naturally and not to scratch it off. The incision underneath might look a little ugly but that’d be normal.
What she failed to mention was anything about a yellowish tint to the skin in a roughly two inch radius around the port. I first noticed it four days after the port was placed. It didn’t hurt or itch, though I was a bit concerned. A little digging on the internet suggested this happened frequently and was simple bruising and nothing to be worried about. When I went in for the infusion on Tuesday I asked the nurse about it and she immediately said “oh, that’s probably just bruising.” She took a look at it when she was placing the IV and said, “Yup, that’s just bruising, completely normal.”