Wednesday, 12 March 2014


I got a local acupuncture person to come to the Lodge last Friday, but he turned up just as they were closing so he only had time to do a quick poke at some pressure points in my neck. Show me how you swallow, he said, and I took a tiny sip of water grimacing from the sting of the ulcers on my tongue and blisters on my lips. Then he dug a knuckle into a spot behind my ear and I groaned in pain as he ground that knuckle in relentlessly before moving on to an only slightly less painful spot near by. When he had tortured along both sides of the back of my neck he said, now swallow. Gulp, gulp gulp I went, grinning in relief that the torture had stopped. He showed me how to find those pressure spots, but to tell the truth, for the whole weekend they were so tender I didn't want to touch them. Nevertheless, I felt immediately amazingly better. So I made an appointment to see him at his clinic.

He's a small round-faced chinese man with black-rimmed glasses wearing an immaculate crisp white shirt. If he knocked at the door you'd pretend to be out. Earnest and efficient. "You have cold hands. Cold feet. This comes from cold kidneys." He brought me ginger tea in a bowl and held it me to drink, like a chinese mama. He worked on the same points but much more gently this time, then he propped me up with several heat packs and put needles in my wrists and ankles. And left me to relax. He has given me powder for making ginger tea and some ginseng powder to add to it. "Every two hours you have." It is not the same withou him feeding it to me though.

The idea is to improve my circulation and get some appetite back. I did have some soup at lunch after my visit, but unfortunately again today the smells of lunch keep me out of the dining room. Must be time for more ginger tea. I am putting most it through the feeding tube with the Fortisip - at least it takes away the sickly smell of that stuff.

My mouth is much better than it was. Stopping the methotrexate was a smart decision. I think it was just an added toxicity that my body doesn't need right now. But I had to be sent to the doctor again yesterday when I came out in what looks like hives, and has spread across most my trunk and across my scalp, setting up an exquisite itching that makes me wriggle and jiggle and dance about trying for relief without scratching. I thought about tying my hands up in socks in case I scratched in my sleep. It came up before I had any ginger tea incidentally. The two doctors I saw were puzzled. Lovely Julie on the radiation team suggested that sometimes an auto-immune response can be triggered as the radiation kills off certain cells. If so, that seems like a good thing as the treatment must be working - of course I believe it is only corrupt and malignant cells that are being destroyed while all the good cells are getting stronger, which I know is way too simple, but that is the sort of positive image I want to hold onto right now. Take me to the April sun in Cuba - that's my theme song, with a stray line that goes "Cancer's on the run".

I am past the halfway mark with my treatment and so far I'd have to say I'm having fun. I still have not made it to the Hamilton library, where I imagined I'd spend a bit of time. I'm not missing coffee -- much. I have more prescriptions than I have had in my whole life so far - the latest being Phenergan which came with instructions not to drive and a warning that it can cause confusion. What was I saying? Oh, just blame the drugs.
Not much hair left now


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