Sunday, October 18, 2009

Update from the OKW

Well, at least with some side effects, you know the stuff is workin.

I'm in the off week after the first two weeks of round 2. So in engineering terms this would be


There is not a Diet Coke here at home or in my fridge at the office. This must be kinda like

quitting smoking. I even thought about having a stash for just in case. The admonition was

to cut back, so probably the cold turkey approach is overkill. I tried the coffee in the morning

YUCK!!!!! I used to like coffee.... BUUUUUT I have taste issues going on so I'll try it again.

Diet Coke is available at all convenience stores.

The itchy scalp is back, and I have little pimples on my face like when I was 15. I can deal with that; it's just a nuisiance.

Last time I saw the oncologist, I told him that it seemed that I felt great while taking the Sutent and then in the off week stuff started showing up. He just kinda smiled. I can only imagine that if side effects are going to show up in week 3 and I was still taking the chemo, it might be more than a nuisiance. He's a smart man, I'll follow his instructions. "Chemo brain" is real. My processor doesn't work as quickly nor does it multitask at the same pace as before.

Probably the most maddening thing is fatigue. I'm used to doing whatever I want to, whenever I want to. I used to work all day long outside and keep on going even after I was tired. I've noticed lately that sometimes what I want to do is stop what I'm doing and sit down for awhile.

I think I'll try golf soon. First of all I need to take advantage of the cool weather of fall, and second, maybe having a tight right abdomin will straighten out my swing and eliminate that slice. Nine holes in a cart shouldn't be too bad.

The incision reminds me often that I'm not over that yet. I've been spinning with my buddy Joe two days a week. It's really kinda mosey spinning....we do peddle for 30 minutes but mainly we're catching up with each other...we don't believe in exercising so hard that we can't talk.

Then we go to the club restaurant and I get a big ol' cheeseburger.

We're discovering the pleasure of eating at home. I think it's great, the cook may not agree. Debbie is actually a good cook and is being a good sport. Lordy,I hope we don't go back to our vegetarian phase again. Actually this diet isn't as restrictive as first imagined. Salad is back. I'm tolerating the Coumadin (blood thinner) well enough that Dr. Baltz said I can add back the salad and he can adjust if needed. Maybe I was just bellyaching about not having many choices and he just had heard enough !!!!

I may have lost my unibrow. Either that or it's getting white like the rest of the eyebrows. I'll send a pic.... you may say dang! he's looking old. It's only on the outside...

We're hangin' in.
And now a word from Carrot:
When Bryan says he gets tired easily, he still sets a pretty high bar for himself. When I say I'm tired, that means I'm heading for the couch with the remote, an adult beverage, and lots of magazines. This weekend included doing a quick house cleanup after our year-long remodeling project because Barett and friends were coming to Debbie's Bed and Get-Your-Own-Breakfast. We got the three guest bedrooms made up and presentable (no boxes of undetermined junk lurking). Then Saturday he recycled 6-wks worth of paper, plastic, and glass; accompanied me on a shopping trip; put together and installed three new headboards; endured the highs and lows of a referee-influenced loss to Florida; entertained guests; went to church; walked around the yard to plan the landscaping remedy to rainwater encroachment into the garage; and answered some work emails. Who wouldn't be tired. Plus, he's managing it uncaffinated and unsalted. Give the man a round of applause. Better yet, give the man a reply! Since posting comments is daunting because the whole Byrd Village sees it, email is private. Try this one: He'll love it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No More diet Coke

So, after YEARS of promoting low sugar, whole grain, low fat, fresh fruit, leafy greens, orange food, the nephrologist's nutritionist recommends to us a different way. It seems that potassium and phosphorus are also Bad Things To Eat for Bryan (along with salt). The list of Things to Eat in Limited Quantities includes bananas, canteloupe, tomatoes, whole grains, fiber, beans, peas, and fruit juices. And dairy. Don't eat in restaurants very often.

No more biscuits. No more ham, bacon, bologna, or sausage. Measure cheese in ounces.No more cashews. No more black-eyed peas. But, get this. . . drum roll . . . no. more. diet. Coke.

Now, she's used to advising patients who have chronic kidney disease. Being a One Kidney Wonder is similar but not the same. Bryan has to protect his One Kidney but also control blood pressure and fluid retention. It's just weird to hear that whole grain bread is difficult for his kidney to deal with but fruit pies are all right. Whole grain bread, no; English muffins, yes.

He can have all the steak, sea food, chicken, sugar, and fat he wants. (Not really, portion sizes count, but those foods aren't on the no-no list.)

The anti-vitamin-K diet is super-imposed onto the save-your-kidney diet. No leafy greens. No broccoli, turnip greens, brussels sprouts. No cranberries. No grapefruit. No pepper. No Mexican. No spice. No oatmeal. No sweet potatoes. No baked potatoes.

Beer is not good. No mention of wine. I think it could be classified as a fruit juice product which seems to be fine.

This will take some processing time. Not to mention the fact that MY diet requirements are definitely different: whole grains, lots of fruit, green veggies, low fat, lots of calcium, plenty of potassium, . . . . How does this mesh? Gotta work on it.

Maybe we should just have a few days of fasting or just some wine and cashews. Oh, wait, he can't do that. Apple pie and diet 7-Up? Plain popcorn and water?

We not only welcome but BEG for suggestions, recipes, life experiences, etc. I don't know where to start.


Monday, October 5, 2009

The Southwest Classic

Greetings from Dallas.
Our main job for the next few months, according to Dr. Baltz, is to be dull and boring. Just take the meds and keep on keepin' on. After we do that for awhile, then we'll check and see how things are. Well.. where do I pick up my prescription for being boring?

This weekend we went to Dallas to visit our friends, the Sutcliffes. This conincided with a trip to the new Cowboy's stadium where the Razorbacks and the Aggies of Texas A&M were kicking off a new 10-year scheduled game.

Vic said, "we'll take you and pick you up, it's not far." PERSPECTIVE.... in Mountain Home, Arkansas, 3 miles is not far to us... we live in Little Rock... in Little Rock 20 miles is not far. In Dallas, not far is about 45 miles... thanks Vic and Gail for hauling us around.

Bonus: We also got to go see Dr. David and Jenn Sutcliffe and Little Sutcliffe, Anthony. We're used to Moonpie Elliot.... Anthony is 4-1/2 months and he's on the other end of the bell curve. Sweet baby...I've dropped in a pic. His mom and dad are graduates of A&M so Anthony was all dressed for the game. He might have even had on an A&M diaper....above my pay grade I missed all of that.

I don't know how to arrange these pics....but they include: Taking Sutent in Cowboy stadium. Clowning while taking Sutent. Me in my Hog shirt and Anthony in full A&M fare. Nana in front of Cowboy Stadium. Inside the stadium with red hogs all around the stadium. Jerry Jones was a Razorback, you know.

Ok, I'm trying real hard to be dull and boring. I'm tolerating all of the meds. I do get tired sometimes, but hey I'm almost 6 decades old. Maybe I'll pull out that dull/boring perscription from time to time, but my original reaction to this thing and Dr. Baltz's admonition still holds....just because I have cancer doesn't mean that I'm gonna quit living.

y'all be sweet

One Kidney Wonder

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Apparently, OKW is doing fine. I haven't heard from them in DAYS, they're off to Dallas to watch 'dem Hawgs, so...
I'll try to pin him down and get an update. Mom did say that his hair hurt the other day. Interesting.