Thursday, December 15, 2016

Radiation Aftermath - Tougher than I Expected

I finished radiation last Wednesday, 12/7.  I expected that the nausea would get worse for a couple days and then get better.  The radiologist told me he thought I would be back to normal by a week after treatment ended.  Regretfully, that hasn't happened.

I got home from NYC last Thursday evening.  I had been planning to work at home on Friday, but I felt pretty good, and I went to the office for the day.  That day went so well that I taught skiing that Saturday, and everything has been in freefall since then.

I got through the day of teaching skiing, but it took a lot out of me.  By 2:30 in the afternoon, I was done.  Simply depleted.  I had walked a lot in my ski boots, which is never easy, and a lot of that was on beginner skiing terrain - uphill and downhill.  I hiked up the beginner slope 4 or 5 times during the day.  By the time my FitBit told me I'd hit 10000 steps for the day, I was toast.

I had to skip a planned training session at 3:15. I was dealing with some nasty muscle cramps in the two muscle walls where most of the radiation entered my body.  I chugged a liter of water and this made things better, but not good.  I wanted to stay and have some beers with my friends, but after a short period of time with my friends, I had to head home.

The next morning, I felt so run down that I called in sick.  I slept in, did a little bit of winterization work around the house, tied some flies, and that was it.  The day was a wash.

On Monday, the nausea was worse.  I went to the office, but I couldn't even consider eating anything.  I did manage to walk on the treadmill at the gym while my wife trained, but 2.8 mph was hard.  I did this for 55 minutes, and I was exhausted.  On the way home, I had some medical MJ, and that controlled the nausea so I could eat some food at least.

On Tuesday, the nausea was worse, and the day was a repeat of Monday, except I napped at the gym rather than walking on the treadmill.  I had to use medical MJ again just so I could eat something.  Overnight that night, I started to get some abdominal cramping, and this led to me calling in sick to my day job on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, I slept a lot, tied a few flies, and I took a lot of pain medicine for the cramping I was dealing with.  I managed to eat a bowl of soup for lunch, I drank some ginger ale, and I ate some popcorn for dinner.

The cramping is slightly better today, but I still had to take pain medicine as soon as I got out of bed.  I had a medical appointment in the morning that I didn't want to miss.  That doctor was happy with how things are going for me, but the cramping and nausea are not his concerns.

So now, I'm in my office.  I couldn't drink coffee.  I haven't eaten anything.  And, with the weekend approaching, I'm curious if I'll be able to teach skiing or not.

Clearly, the radiologist was off a bit in his recovery timeline.  But, I've got the meds I need, and I just need to wait it out.  I was hoping I'd be training in the gym by now, but I'm far from ready for that.  So, I'll just continue to wait things out.  I'm probably already pushing more than I should, so perhaps a couple more complete rest days is what I really need.  I'd really like to ski this weekend, but my body's recovery comes first.

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