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Cliff Dwellings at Bandelier National Monument (photo credit: Sally King, National Park Service)

Cliff Dwellings at Bandelier National Monument (photo credit: Sally King, National Park Service)

Four treatments down, and only twenty-six left to go! 

So far, the only real effect I’m noticing is that I tire more easily than usual.  Last week I had just three consecutive days of radiation and chemo pills (plus the first dose of once-a-week chemo “infusion”).  I did pretty well until Friday night, when I was suddenly really tired, but I’d also had a full day of activity with Alison.  There’s a two-day break on Saturday and Sunday with no pills or radiation, but it still took most of Saturday before the fatigue lifted.  By that afternoon, though, I felt up to going out to Bandelier National Monument with Ali.  We walked the path up to the cliff dwellings and even climbed a couple of ladders to get a peek inside them.  It was probably the most exercise I’ve gotten in a few weeks!  And it was wonderfully energizing to be out in such a phenomenal natural setting.  But, as you might guess, I was pretty pooped when we got home that evening.  It gave new meaning to Sunday being a day of rest!

So, today (Monday) marked the beginning of my first full week (with five days in a row) of treatment.  I’ve been told the whole process keeps building, so the fatigue thing may start to settle in again by mid-week…but you never know.  I keep hearing from each of the doctors and nurses who see me that everyone responds differently to treatment.  They’re required to tell you all the possible side effects, but they don’t really expect you to have all of them.  And, of course, some will be less severe than others.  One thing I have going for me is that I’m basically very healthy (other than the cancer itself) and I’m physically fairly fit from both yoga and gardening, so it’s possible I may not have a terrible time of this…

Meanwhile, however it plays out, I’m just staying thankful for each day that I feel good and can do the things that make life meaningful.  Like climbing up into an ancient rock cave that was once home to someone who lived here a thousand years ago.

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