Thursday, January 29, 2009

:D part deux

If I had told someone, anyone, what I was going to do, they probably would have restrained me or very seriously admonished me.

It needed to be done though. And I did take a break here and there, but I did my part and am happy to have helped.

We got our first ice storm of the winter on the tail end of a little snow. You mid-westerners will warm with laughter at the thought of less than an inch of winter seizing the machine of industry here. I still do too. But when it gets glazed over with a quarter inch of ice making the whole world look like a donut, it does get hard to get around. It had to go.

I instinctively wait when there is ice in the forecast. Years of experience have taught me it will be MUCH easier to get rid of with snow underneath than clearing anything and letting the ice form on the ground. If there are clear skies forecasted afterwards, even better. Let Nature help!

Of course, the day after a 'scope and like nine weeks off the poison probably aren't the best conditions for lots of shoveling, right?

eh. Like I said, I did take breaks and I had help too. I also know from experience that shoveling by yourself sucks. If you have a friend, a neighbor, your dad, out there with you then it goes -much- quicker. A few of us chipped at it off and on over a few hours mid-day and the result is a nice clear street this morning instead of the slip-n-slide of death we started with. :)

And the strange part is, I felt good. For sure I got tired and way sooner than I used to, but I recovered with a little rest on those breaks and made three sorties until the whole drive was clear.

I need to share this with Dr. Lee on Friday and ask her opinion about Cyberknife.

For those not aware, Cyberknife is an extremely tight-focus radiation therapy. The beam can nail lesions as small as 1mm. It can track what it is aimed at killing even though a patient is breathing. There is some tailoring of the system to each individual patient and possibly small metal markers to place near the therapy sites, but the recovery time is far less than other radiation oncologies. Recovery compared to chemo is not even on the same page because only the lesions are targeted, as opposed to poisoning the entire body. Killing just what's bad or slowly killing the whole person hoping what's bad dies first?

I also want to get her thoughts on a theory I came up with about chemo and fat.

From what little I know about the liver, its job is to nab extra sugar from the bloodstream and convert it for storage as fat. When the body needs sugar, the liver takes care of retrieving fat and putting the sugar back into the blood. I also think I have it right that fat is stored in a LIFO type of system; that's Last In, First Out for you non-dataflow personalities out there. In other words, the youngest fat you put away is the first to go when you need energy (or are trying to lose weight)... kinda like the last box you put in the moving van is the first one you take out when you get to your new house.

From what I know of chemotherapy, it works because it looks like sugar. Cancer cells are dividing and signaling the body for food and, as the chemo floats by, they eat up anything that looks like sugar. If that happens to be the chemo, the cancer cells die. We chemo patients feel lousy because our healthy cells eat the faux-sugar and die too. Bummer.

I got to wondering if chemo is treated by the liver just like sugar? Is excess chemo stashed away as fat just like excess sugar? And if the newest fat is burned first in times of need, does that mean chemo-fat gets tunred back into chemo???

If so, then I think there may be a way to hasten chemo recovery; lose fat.

Notice I didn't say lose weight.

This has worried me for a while too. It is well established that adding muscle to the body is a sure-fire way to increase metabolism and lose fat. The more muscles there are, the more they need to eat. But with chemo floating around killing anything that eats it, new muscle cells DIE, and I've been told it hurts. A lot.

So, if I'm right, how do we burn off fat to get rid of stored chemo without adding too much muscle or suffering a lot of pain? My first thought is perhaps some sort of blood test to see if there is chemo still present. I don't even know if that is possible. Ideally, once the chemo isn't showing up, muscle building can safely begin.

We shall see...

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