It's been an entertaining past few weeks for me. My younger brother is visiting and helping to fatten me up with his great homecooking despite my gluten-free, vegetarian (except for seafood), low dairy and low sugar diet :). The Olympics have taken up the majority of my free time in the past two weeks and I enjoyed every minute of it! Yay Canada!!! 'Twas truly time well wasted and a great way to forget about cancer. Another great way to forget about cancer? YouTube. Laughter is the best medicine. One of my friends suggested I search YouTube for Jim Gaffigan. I spent that day watching this comedian joke about food, a favourite topic of mine, especially ones that I should definitely not eat... Hilarious! Eventually, as so frequently happens when you are on YouTube, I also discovered Celebrities Read Mean Tweets (apparently I am missing out). If you are in need of a good laugh and/or a pick-me-up, check it out. Thanks SK for getting me started :).
The Iressa side effects of random diarrhea (yay), and terribly dry, scaly, cracking, itchy skin continue to bother me. Searching for new ways to cope with these continuing side effects, I discovered all the health benefits and uses of coconuts! Coconut water is a much better way to rehydrate than water or sugary sports drinks. Coconut oil is a healthy substitute for butter; makes stirfries taste terrific and adds a new dimension of flavour to gluten-free baked goods. Thanks to my massage therapist, coconut oil is also great for your skin! It has worked so much better than any lotion I have tried so far and I smell delicious! Virgin, unrefined organic coconut oil is a solid at room temperature; just scoop out a small amount and it will quickly liquefy in your hands. Even better, I use an all natural skin lotion first then seal with coconut oil. Warning: it does leave you greasy for awhile so best to use before bed.
Despite these drug side effects, life has been good :). Thank you Iressa!! I have noticed a significant improvement in my symptoms since I started gefitinib about 7 weeks ago. I am finally able to sleep through the night (it's been over a year!). I can now walk further and faster. We went snowshoeing a week ago and, despite a fairly steep trail, I finished with energy to spare. I recently started running again; indoors only and just for short distances. And I can finally do a downward dog without pain... Yoga here I come! But a caveat: my trainer informed me that it's good if I feel energized after an exercise but it's not ok if I am exhausted after a workout; that means my body has been overworked and hence my immune system will be compromised. Hmmm... Being the self-competitive person that I am, I have to make an effort not to overdo it. To be honest though, my shoulder pains have not yet completely resolved (why am I always in a rush to recover?) but it is much less bothersome now than a year ago and I am slowly getting back to doing the things I love.