A Return to “Normal”

It’s been a week and 2 days since I completed my “Virginia Mason Protocol” with radiation and chemo combined. Yesterday was the first day since starting that protocol that I did not get sick first thing after waking up in the morning. I also could get through the day without using any anti-nausea meds.

It feels so very, very good to be through with that. For the first time in a while I actually cared about doing things, and doubled my online social activities to compensate for the restrictions we’ve got from the pandemic.

I’ve noticed something else. I had been using a lot of Lorazepam (commercial name is Ativan) as one of my anti-nausea meds. The last one I took was 2 days ago. Lorazepan is also an anti-anxiety medication. I’ve been feeling rather anxious about things lately. Maybe my anxieties are exaggerated as some kind of mild withdrawal symptom.

This might be why I’ve been plagued these last 2 nights with insomnia after about 4am. I’ve been catching myself going through a litany of every item on my personal “to-do” list while trying to get back to sleep. Most of them I’ve already started and can’t do any further work on them until the right time comes. Like why do I care about house hunting so much when that’s going to be another month or more away? I’ve also caught myself worrying about the future, when I never worried about them enough to lose sleep before. Usually I can squelch those thoughts. I hope I can stop soon. I need my sleep.

Whatever. I’m also about ready to resume exercising, and that’s very real and important. I lost muscle mass over the past month and a half. At my age it is critical that I maintain it for overall health. I can finally do some physical stressing without getting sick now!

I’m also thinking about drinking coffee again. I quit sometime during the treatments because it was making me sick, and switched to herbal teas for hydration. I’ve been through any caffeine withdrawal symptoms, probably buried by all the treatment side effects, so I don’t feel enslaved to it. I just miss its flavor and the morning ritual.

Anyway to wrap up here, I don’t see doctors again until mid-September when I’ll get blood work and another CT scan to see how well this all worked. Keeping fingers crossed that it has!