I am now four weeks past the resection surgery and by this weekend, I would say I was feeling about 80% recovered. Between being a few weeks out from surgery AND having had almost 8 weeks off from chemo, it's as good as I have felt in a long time - so we got a lot done around the house, walked to brunch and dinner, and I tried to do a ton of calorie loading knowing that I would start chemo this week.
On Monday when I went in, my weight was up 4 lbs since my post-op, so all those nachos I ate (don't ask me why I was craving nachos, but I had some version of them like three times over four days) must have made a big difference. My iron levels were low, so I was craving weird things, like oysters - which I think are seriously disgusting, so it is always a sign to me that my body must really need something when they suddenly feel like a good idea. I met a good friend for escargot and steak - and then before chemo yesterday, I found an adorable French place two blocks from MSK and had escargot and foie gras. I've also been pounding chocolate milk - Dr Kingham told me at the post op, "Don't put anything in your mouth that doesn't have calories - no water - drink juice or milk." I've taken that to heart. Can't handle those protein drinks, but a high quality chocolate milk does deliver both protein and calories so I think it counts!!
I really look back and laugh at how I thought going into this I would follow a mostly plant-based diet and try to cure myself that way. I still have lots of people who want to tell me that I can eat myself back into health, and I've started to laugh and say, Once you're on chemo and successfully eating a vegan diet, feel free to come back to me and let me know how that works for you.
I do think that there is room to improve my diet once I'm done with formal treatment. Before this all started, I actually ate a pretty healthy diet - lots of plants, whole grains and lean proteins, not much red meat or dairy, and I'd like to return to that. But it's just too hard to do when you feel hungover every day and you're trying to maximize calories going into your system.
It looks like I'll do 5 chemo treatments before my next surgery, which if my date counting is accurate, would be about November 6th. I did my first on Monday (today is my disconnect day), so mentally I think I can manage the idea of just four more. Then a final liver resection, and then mop-up chemo I suppose. This isn't my last leg of my journey, but it feels like the biggest / toughest leg, and mentally I'm in an OK spot to start it.
I've also decided that after the treatment is done, I'm going on a honeymoon with my husband - a real one. We got married five years ago and did a "mini-moon" to a nice resort within driving distance for just three days. We both fielded work emails through the whole thing. I just cannot say enough how amazing my husband has been as a caretaker, so it feels appropriate and right to mark the "end" of this journey with an amazing week or so together. Anyway, it's been fun researching destinations!!
45 year old mom of twins (8) and lucky stepmom of 14 and 16 year olds
9/17/18 DX stage 4 CRC w inoperable liver mets
9/20/18 CEA 931
10/1/18 FOLFOX + Vectibix planned 12 rounds
12/12/18 CT scan showed typhlitis (7 days in hospital) but largest met down to 5 cm. Chemo holiday.
12/26/18 CEA 4.6
1/14/18 Resume chemo (#6-8)
3/27/19 HAI pump placement / colon resection
4/8/19 Resume chemo (#9-19) FOLFOX (no OX) + Vectibix
5/20/19 CEA 1.3
7/19/19 1st liver resection
10/16/19 2nd liver resection