8/31 – Dog Days

Today is the last day of August.  It is also the last “needle” of cycle 8.  After today I have one more week of the Revlimid pill and then a week off treatment – the BYE WEEK – I LOVE THE BYE WEEK.

Lately I have been feeling tired.  Lately I haven’t been feeling myself.  Maybe it is the first cycle back at chemo since having almost two months off.  Maybe it is the overwhelming work load, family load, life load.  Maybe it is Cancer worsening.  Maybe it is residual effect of the stem cell harvest.  Maybe it is the fact that I haven’t been to the gym in a week.  Or maybe it is just the dog days of August.

I am committed going forward to finding some kind of balance between modern treatments, Eastern medicine, diet, nutrition and everything in between.  I love working out.  I love spinning, lifting, boxing, P90X, SWEATING!  

My Eastern medicine doc (Dr. R) says sweating is bad for me.  He wants to keep the body in a state of latency to fight the Cancer.  Makes sense.  My state of mind says sweating is good for me.  I feel better, look better, my mind is better when I am active.  Dr. D from Hackensack was shocked when I told her that I used 35 lb dumbells.  That is ONE HALF of what I normally used before Cancer!.  Dr. J said no restrictions.  But I know I have restrictions.  Restrictions are a part of life now.  I just have to work around them.  One of my Twitter buddies, Kendra (@chitoandkgo) wrote a beautiful blog about what to do when you can’t do the things you love to do.  The answer – find something else you love as much.  Seize the opportunity!  


Diet is a big part of this as well.  I feel better when I follow Dr. R on the diet plan.  Organic vegetables, non tropical fruits (#bradstrong juices from Bohemian Raspberry) and the like.  But I love my tropical fruits – mangoes, papaya, etc.  What do you do when you can’t eat the things you love to eat?  Seize the opportunity to build a diet you love!  Truthfully, I feel better when I eat the right stuff.  The problem is with the Dexamethasone I eat stuff all the time.  That adds to the fatigue.

We saw a bunch of friends Thursday night.  Everyone – and I mean everyone – commented on how “great” I looked.  I have nice friends.  Because when I look in the mirror I don’t see me anymore.  I am different.  I look different.  I have gained 25 pounds.  Heavy, bloated, bags under the eyes.  Cancer.

So what do you do when you can’t do the things that you love to do?  Seize the opportunity to find some balance and find some new things you LOVE to do.  8/31 – the dog days are over today.  Tomorrow is the nine month anniversary of my Cancer diagnosis.  In the time it takes to create a human life I have fought for my own EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.  

The dog days are over.  Time to regain my balance, my strength, my fortitude.  I have to work out.  I have to sweat.  Maybe I can just spin twice a week instead of four times a week.  Maybe I can swim – swimming is low impact.  I need to lift.  Maybe twice a week instead of four times a week.  Maybe lighter weights and more reps.  I need to eat better foods ALL OF THE TIME.

I need to get back to the BALANCE.  I feel best when I eat right, workout, get my chemo meds and get my acupuncture.  The other day I felt some neuropathy for the first time since beginning treatments.  It is a common side effect of chemo – tingling in the hands and feet.  Mine wasn’t bad but for the first time it was there.  One visit to Dr. R and it was gone.  

***A side note and a recommendation – if you have never had acupuncture go out and get some.  I go weekly and it is now become an irreplaceable part of my life and health.***

Every day each and every one of us creates part of a legacy we leave behind.  When you read about the legacy – the impact – that Kendra’s dad has on her.  That’s what I want to leave behind for my kids.  When I started on this road my energy was low.  I brought that back up with a combination of chemo, acupuncture, herbs, diet and exercise.  The dog days are over now.  It is time to hit it.  Cancer has tried to beat me through bone pain, through psychological warfare, through fatigue.  I may have lost the battle in August.  I won’t lose the war.  Cancer – I am tougher than you – I will prove it.

Cycle 8, Day 16.  My friend Jon is hitting treatment with me today.  It is a GREAT day to reengage and fight Cancer.


4 responses to “8/31 – Dog Days

  1. Brad, you continue to be an inspiration to me every day. I am so glad you are sharing your journey on this blog. Your words and spirit have been incorporated into my perspective on life, and I am better for it.

  2. Brad — You mention you are using acupuncture.  I am going to start acupuncture to try to get my sense of taste and smell back, which I completely lost during my stem cell transplant.  If you wouldn’t mind sharing, why are you using acupuncture?

    I wish you good luck as you tackle this disease.  It’s not easy, but I find strength from blogs and the people I know who also share this dreaded disease.


    Kathy Lynott

  3. Kathy – acupuncture promotes the balance of yin and yang in the body. It opens up channels to create healthy blood flow and the flow of qi (which is life force) This promotes good organ function. Dr. Rosen can chime in as I know he reads this but we are especially concentrated on the kidney and the liver. As you know, these are common areas of potential damage from MM. By using a pulse diagnosis he can feel “heat” in the areas that are affected and targets the blood flow accordingly. I really feel GREAT afterwards. It took me a few times to get to that point but now I hate not being there weekly.

    I would not discount the diet and herbal remedies as well. I will write a blog post over the next few day about the Eastern Medicine experience.

    Thanks for reading!

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