Goodness, it's been awhile since my last entry.
In the meantime, I've been working towards my goal of not having my cancer be the focus of my life. It's still pretty hard to ignore the limitations on my energy level, which seems to fluctuate with the chemo cycle, the phases of the moon, and other unknown factors. My energy level is definitely not what I'm used to, but my endurance is generally pretty good, and I haven't had any problems to this point working full days.
My facial rash has improved dramatically. For awhile there, it was dark and angry enough to make my facial hair almost invisible (actually not a hard trick, I've never been very hairy), with lots of whiteheads everywhere; I got a prescription for the antibiotic (Minicin) most recommanded for acne, and since I ran through that (it ran out about a week and a half ago), the facial rash has looked more like a rash, with the occasional pimple. For awhile there, I was using moisturizing cream on a daily basis, now I don't really bother.
To balance that out, my oncologist tells me the rash has moved into my mouth. It's not severe, but it means that hot, sour and other flavors are exaggerated, and my tongue feels like it's been mildly burned all the time. It hasn't affected my sense of taste that much, other than to make my tastes annoyingly bland.
Keeping my weight up has been a problem. I've gone down by two pounds at each of my last two chemo appointments, and tend to get full on not a lot of food. I've tried to up my carb intake by having things like milkshakes and Jamba Juice during the day to compensate.
One of the main things that comes with achieving something like normalcy has been that the novelty has worn off, and while I'm far from being over the cancer, I'm definitely Over Having Cancer. Knowing what a long haul cancer usually is, I can't let myself get too burned out on it, but keeping track of what I should be taking and when certainly palls after awhile.
My night fevers and sweats have gone down dramatically, making my oncologist happy (which makes me happy), but the cough remains an issue. My primary doctor prescribed some nose drops recently (which I then conveyed to my oncologist), to be taken once a day, and when I take them at night, I can usually get by without coedine cough syrup until about noon, after which I usually have to take some. The last couple of days have been a bit better, I'm hoping that's a trend.
One of the great joys in my life is singing, and the cough has made that difficult. I've asked a couple of sources if there might be such a thing as music therapy for cancer patients - as a singer, I know that making music releases a tremendous amount of subtle energy, and it stands to reason that there ought to be some way to make therapeutic use of that. I've sadly neglected my singing in the past several years - the last time I did any singing on a regular basis was before I left BofA in 1998. I'd seriously consider finding a regular group to sing with, even now with my energy issues, if I felt confident I could avoid coughing.
That's about all for now, more as it occurs to me...