Monthly Archives: October 2007

4th Quarterly Checkup October 22 2007

October 22 2007 was the last quarterly checkup that I hope to ever have.

The tumor that has caused my ocular melanoma shows signs of slowing down. During my Monday appointment I had a fluorescein angiogram (http://www.stlukeseye.com/eyeq/FluoresceinAngiogram.asp ) and an ultrasound on my left eye which revealed the possibility that the proton radiation is finally doing its job (12 months later), killing the blood vessels that are keeping the tumor alive. The photos taken during the FA were bright in my right eye (photos taken for comparison) but my left eye hardly even saw the light, never mind the red indicator of where to look for each picture to have a slightly different angle.

Who knows, I might beat this thing yet. At any rate, I am home again after the grueling driving trip and I plan on getting my work down and taking more time to rest.

Having cancer, even just knowing that it’s in my body, is highly stressful. This may be why my body is starting to show effects of neuropathy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuropathy). I can only hope I get better before I get worse.
I am still taking my meds, now at:
(up to) 8 Tramacet a day for my headaches;
1 Gabapentin three times a day (for possible neuropathy);
5 Nortriptyline (10mg each) at bedtime for possible neuropathy;
2 Zopiclone to help me sleep.

Most times now my hands hurt like hell, not so much the feet anymore although they have their painful moments.
The hardest thing I have to battle along with the headaches, are the extremely sore and sensitive fingers. Even typing this out is hard, full of typos. I can’t exactly get my fingers to where I need them on the keyboard too much anymore.

My 1-2-3 Program diet for headaches is going great. I didn’t have any problem with the restaurant food during our trip (Sheila was with me to keep my spirits high), just keep to the fresh food, no extra spices or onions and no fresh bread.
I have added to my collection of recipes, some good ones too. I plan on getting them on this site soon. It’s just hard to keep the fingers going.
Well, that was October 22. Time to rest now. Next checkup is 6 months away, April 2008.

Homemade salsa recipe

Now that I have read “Heal Your Headach” by author Dr. David Bushholtz I am a believer that migraine, in its various forms, is one of the health issues I have. Today is the 12th day of adhering go the 1-2-3 Program diet. Despite my chocolate cravings I have eaten somewhat well. I think I am a good cook and look forward to the challenges of staying within the proposed diet. I haven’t cheated yet, even with chocolate.

I should note that the book has a two week meal plan and the recipe suggestions are great, but they sure aren’t a lifelong commitment, as the 1-2-3 Program is in managing migraine.

So, anyways, this is where I’m going to post some recipes that I have found, tried and either liked or didn’t like. One way or another at least there is variety in out dining choices!

Home Made Salsa

(Please note, I used canned items on hand when I had the craving for salsa. Because of use of citric acid and other flavorings and preservatives store-bought salsa is not an option to stay on the diet, that I have found, anyways. Feel free to change this recipe as suits your taste!)

1 – 28 oz canned diced tomatoes

1 – 4oz canned diced green chilies

3 stalks green onions, diced/sliced small

1 – 8 oz can sliced black olives (yes, half the can. I didn’t find any smaller cans but I’m sure they’re available)

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons Franks Red Hot Sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Pour canned tomatoes, green chilies and olives into strainer and let drain for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Empty into bowl and add other ingredients. Mix well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Enjoy!

October Means Snow

Well, winter, although not officially due to start until Dec 21, has arrived in the first full blown snowfall for Logan Lake. Snow that did not melt away until late in the afternoon.

And so my mood goes. I have had my MRI, I have had my prescriptions upped, and yet, I am still having periods of great pain in my hands and feet, although the increase in Nortriptyline may be the reason why the times of pain are of lessened periods and duration.

At least my headaches have gotten better, not as many although I am still waking up with a headache. I am working on changing my diet to combat the low migraine threshold that may be a factor in my headaches. It’s not too strict a diet and I haven’t fallen off or cheated on it yet. More than 2 weeks of no chocolate, caffeine, preservatives in food and the like. It’s not as hard to follow as I first thought it would be. Thank God for that.

Another two weeks and I’ll be having my next 3 month cancer checkup. A snowy trip to Vancouver, I’m sure.

Meds currently taking:

Gabapentin 300mg – 3 times a day

Zopiclone 7.5 mg – 2 at bedtime

Nortriptyline 10mg – 3 at bedtime

Tramacet 37.5 mg – 1 to 2 tablets maximum 4 times a day