One small misstep and you can go through the ice.

One small misstep and you can go through the ice.

Tonight I go to sleep and wonder what tomorrow will bring.  Will it be a better day?  The day dragged along until finally it is over.  My husband had intermittent bouts of nausea that plagued him all day.  There are unspoken words that float between us when he has a day like this.  What does it mean?  Is it just a bad day or is it indicative of something else going wrong?

There’s no doubt that the blood clot has made us paranoid, it can’t help but do so.  At any time, until that thing is gone, he remains at risk.  As he went to bed he was complaining about pains in his stomach – not piercing pains, just a bellyache – like the ones he would get in the past when he took Tylenol #3.  Tylenol has always been tough on his stomach and that’s what his stomach feels like tonight.  But it could be so much more, right?  We were told if he gets sharp pains anywhere above the navel to call an ambulance immediately – it could be an embolus, part of the clot breaking free and travelling up towards his lungs.  What constitutes sharp pain for one person may not be the same for the next person – so who knows what the threshold really is.

He woke up with a headache – was it just a headache or is it symptomatic of something else?  Is it allergies?  Is it his sinuses, or is it something related to cancer?  I take his temperature and blood sugar and blood pressure and everything seems to be in order, but I just don’t know.  Am I missing something?  Can a headache be just a headache when you have cancer?  I suspect the answer is “sure”, but there’s always that “what if”.

He is the whole world to me and I am so afraid that I am not up to the task.  This is just such a difficult process.

#10 – Antioxidants

For those of you knowledgeable about cancer, you will wonder why I have included this topic.  I continue to grow in awareness and understanding of this disease but still have some preconceived notions that I need to shake.  One of them surrounds the use of supplements, such as antioxidants, to stay healthy and support cells.  When my husband was diagnosed many people came out of the woodwork with ideas on how to beat or at least slow down his cancer.  One idea was the use of antioxidants.  All I have ever heard about antioxidants has been positive.  However, when I spoke with medical professionals they suggested deferring the use of antioxidants until after the chemo treatments had ended.

Apparently, at the present time, there is not enough solid data to show benefit from using antioxidants during treatment, and in fact there have been studies that suggest that taking antioxidants could interfere in some different types of chemo treatments.  The general consensus among those I spoke with is that the time to take antioxidants is before you develop cancer, as a preventive measure.  Perhaps the other view is that once a state of health is achieved after treatment, then the antioxidants should be a routine part of one’s health routine.  However, as the excerpt below states, ultimately the decision as to whether or not to take antioxidants during treatment rests with the patient, but the medical team should be informed.

“Several randomized controlled trials, some including only small numbers of patients, have investigated whether taking antioxidant supplements during cancer treatment alters the effectiveness or reduces the toxicity of specific therapies. Although these trials had mixed results, some found that people who took antioxidant supplements during cancer therapy had worse outcomes, especially if they were smokers.  … Additional large randomized controlled trials are needed to provide clear scientific evidence about the potential benefits or harms of taking antioxidant supplements during cancer treatment. Until more is known about the effects of antioxidant supplements in cancer patients, these supplements should be used with caution. Cancer patients should inform their doctors about their use of any dietary supplement.” (Source:  retrieved Sept 8, 2014.)

 “Results of recent studies do not support antioxidant supplements, but health authorities continue to find benefits of a high intake of fruits and vegetables. There is concern about possible interactions between high doses of some antioxidant supplements and chemotherapy drugs that work by using free radicals to kill cancerous cells.” (Source:  retrieved Sept 8, 2014.)