Experiments

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote, which is probably an indication that I’m busy living my life — a good thing overall. I’m back working (consulting), traveling to see family and friends, enjoying the summer, doing yard work, swimming, taking tai chi classes, and in general starting to enjoy my retirement. It’s been a long time coming.

I’ve also been doing a bit of experimentation of late. For example, I learned that acupuncture can be helpful in treating the side effects of the aromatase inhibitor I’m taking, side effects that include neuropathy in my feet, joint pain, insomnia, and gastric distress. None of it is fun, but it’s also within the range of tolerable most days. Nevertheless, I’m interested in doing anything I can to lessen the effects of the medication. To say nothing of the fact that my oncologist hasn’t been all that helpful. To be fair, my oncologist left the practice and I’m still waiting to see my new oncologist, so I’ve been at the mercy of the nurse practitioner (whose bedside manner ain’t all that great) and a very gruff and impatient nurse. So off to acupuncture I went. And so far so good. I just had my second treatment today, and the joint pain and gastric stuff have definitely lessened, although I’m waiting to see improvement in the neuropathy, the side effect that has me the most troubled. My primary care physician has also been pretty attentive and the B complex he suggested does seem to be helping. Basically, I’m trying to figure out how to live with the side effects. I’ve heard horror stories about this medication, and thankfully that hasn’t been my experience.

The other — perhaps ridiculous — experiment has been with my hair. I officially hate my curls, especially in the heat and humidity. I have Googled every product for curly hair known to womankind, and then some, and much of it resides in my bathroom cabinet. I’ve always been a sucker for products, but this is getting a bit silly. None of it seems to help loosen these suckers, but I have managed to keep the frizz at bay. In a moment of desperation, I ordered a “straightening comb” from Amazon. It arrived yesterday at 1:00 p.m. and by 2:00 p.m. I was in the car on my way to the UPS store to return it. What a joke! The “comb” wouldn’t even go through my hair, these curls are that thick and unwieldy. It basically ran across the outer layer of hair and warmed it nicely on an 88 degree day, but did absolutely nothing to straighten the curls. So I guess this is the universe’s way of telling me I have to live with this hair. Yes, it’s better than bald, but frankly, I was rocking the bald look, and this makes me look like a Rogaine experiment gone bad.

Just a few daily reminders that I am not “there” yet and that cancer and all that comes with it will still be part of my life for some time.

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