February 28, 2014

Time Well Wasted and Coconuts

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.