Apr 21 2010

Cancer Chronicles: recovery lessons, a sampling so far

Published by at 5:01 am under health,me vs. cancer = I win

For your amusement and edification, and in honor of the 1-month anniversary of my life-saving surgery, several of the often-contradictory lessons that come up on a daily basis are included here. (All conditions are for this time and state and person, healing brings daily changes so expect frequent shifts over time.)

The more sleep, rest, downtime, the better, in the first 2-3 weeks.

I do best eating a light meal within an hour of awakening.

I have issues if I go longer than about 7 hours without eating, even if I’m sleeping. If I sleep for longer than that without getting up to at least snack, my blood sugar levels are more difficult to re-balance through the following day.

Eating frequently is better; smaller meals and snacks every 2-4 hours seems to be optimal. (This was actually true for me before the cancer as well, though I didn’t always follow it back then.)

I do best on energy levels if I stretch or move around a bit within two hours of awakening.

I often don’t have good enough energy levels first thing after awakening to accomplish without help the things that would be optimal in the morning — like eating, stretching, or pain meds.

I’m down to averaging around 4 pain pills a day (less than half of either pre-surgery or immediately post-surgery dose levels). I do best if I take one immediately after awakening; otherwise, I end up playing pain-med catch-up all day and usually have to take more as a result.

Due to early morning general bleh-ness, I often forget without external reminder to take my first pain pill when it would be optimal.

Gravity sucks. Sitting up from a prone position hurts, just through the repositioning of how the atmosphere is pressing down on various tender bits.

The first few hours of the day are generally the most painful regardless of meds; second runner-up are the last couple of hours of the day, when whatever flexibility and ease of movement I’ve achieved that day starts stiffening up again.

Remaining in a prone position for too long is terrible for my hips. Again, can’t sleep for longer than 7-8 hours at a time before i have to get up and move and stretch a little before more rest happens.

Afternoon naps seem to be non-optional about 90% of the days so far.

Doctor’s appointments will generally be scheduled at the most inconvenient times for sleep schedules or other patient-in-recovery considerations — such as schedules for eating, mobility, and pain meds.

Anyone medical calling who has “lost” Nathan’s paperwork for his medical power of attorney for me is likely a financial person or bill collector attempting to take undue advantage of the sick person.

One response so far

One Response to “Cancer Chronicles: recovery lessons, a sampling so far”

  1. Derekon 22 Apr 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Sounds like a lot of improvements so far! Especially the part about having to take less pain medications overall, that is good news.

    Love you!