by Jay Versluis | Sep 20, 2018 | Survival Diary
Quick health update for September:
Remember that Finger Tingling side effect I experienced from my first chemotherapy treatment? The one caused by Oxaliplatin when I touch cold things? It seems that it’s back – in a modified and lesser form.
I’ve noticed it since the beginning of September. When I picked up an extremely chilled can of LaCroix sparkling water from our fridge the other day, my right thumb started “prickling” just a little bit. Nothing serious, nevertheless noticeable. None of my other fingers seem to notice this change, as they have done before when I was on FOLFOX between May and July 2016.
It’s strange for this side effect to creep in again, without notice, and for no apparent reason. I remember vividly asking our nurse practitioner Janet at Baptist just before the treatment began, if those side effects would ever completely go away. She just smiled at me without giving me a definite answer. I guess the truth is that nobody can predict if these strange chemo side effects will disappear, or linger for years.
Now I have my answer. That Finger Tingling Thang will last – albeit not anywhere near what it once was like when I was receiving the treatment. It’s been over two years since FOLFOX and Oxaliplatin at the time of writing.
Other than that, my wonderful home-healthcare nurse Astrid has increased my daily dose of Levothyroxine by a marginal 0.0012g. This was as a result of my latest T3/T4 and TSR test, showing that although my artificial thyroid hormones are doing a great job, there’s a tiny bit of room for improvement. They need to go a little higher yet, having been at xx until xx.
I’ve just given a blood sample at our local Quest lab on 41st Street, the results of which will show us if this increase was enough or if I need a little more of the good stuff.
I’ll let you know as soon as I know.
Other than that, I cannot help but share with you that I am extremely and wonderfully HAPPY with my current life. I have a part-time job, I’m earning a bit of cash to make those medical bills disappear, I’m meeting new people, and I’ve got plenty of time for creative ventures (such as keeping this project alive and the many other web activities I’m involved in).
This month I’ve been very active on my YouTube channel, I’ve been working on seven podcast feeds, finished the audio version of BROKEN BOWELS. August and July were just as productive, which all goes to show that, as George Costanza would say, “I’m back, baby!”
Speaking of which, our treat this month is to go and see Jerry Seinfeld at the Adrienne Arsht Centre.
I can’t wait!
Until next time–
by Jay Versluis | Aug 17, 2018 | Survival Diary
Exciting news: At the end of July, I spontaneously started a part-time job with Instacart as an in-store shopper. This means I’m spending several hours every week in our local Publix supermarket together with my iPhone, which displays what groceries our customers would like to have delivered.
I don’t do the actual driving and delivering, just whizzing around the aisles with a cart (or trolley as we say in the UK), scanning and packing the items. How exciting is that?
Here’s Julia and me together with Rudy, one of our friends who works at The 11th Street Diner. We used to be regulars here – and it feels so good to be able to do “normal” things again
After we had finished that phenomenal Waffle Combo, Rudy told us that Francesca, our waitress, also wanted to be in the picture – so we took another one. I love them both 🙂 We’ve duly posted both pictures on the 11th Street Diner Facebook Page.
Julia has been working for Instacart since 2016, first as an in-store shopper, then as a Shift Lead, and recently she’s been promoted to Site Manager. I’ve been doing it for about a month now, and I love it. Now we’re both working for the San Francisco based start-up, making sure local residents get their groceries delivered.
This job directly supports our local community, it’s fun to do too. I always liked grocery shopping and playing with my iPhone, and now I even get paid for it. What’s not to like?
Most importantly though, and almost as an added side-effect, this arrangement helps me pay off those medical debts that have amassed on our various credit cards since 2015.
The fascinating bit is both that I got the job in the first place, and that I’m actually fit enough to do this! It’s a real testament on how well I’ve healed.
Grocery shopping is physical and mental work: learning and knowing where each product is hiding in the large store is one thing. The other is to walk around for several hours in a row, walking, bending, lifting, packing, that sort of thing. It’s a great workout, but also a nice barometer as to how fit I now am. I walk roughly 10,000 steps in every shift – in addition to my regular exercise routine of cycling to and from Publix on the Bay.
Remember that this time last year, I had just about gotten better. Two surgeries and a bit of recovery time later, and I’m in a place that allows me to do this – mentally as well as physically. How exciting indeed… and it’ll certainly make our bank manager happy.
Speaking of happiness, let me point one thing that I’d like to share with you:
I am happy.
This Instacart part-time arrangement leaves me enough time to pursue all those creative things I’m doing right now (i.e. YouTubing, writing, podcasting, etc). It’s all converging into a beautiful life, balanced between paying off medical debts, feeling super fulfilled and ecstatic about what I to, all the while making the world a better place.
Is that lovely, or what? It’s an amazing reward for what I’ve been through.