Friday, May 28, 2010

The Three Million Dollar Whatchamacallit and Better Nutrition

You see at the right the very machine with which I have been getting acquainted this past week. I cant remember what its called, but it costs about $3 million. It shoots me with radiation to try to kill my cancer 5 times a week. Each session consists of shooting me from 5 different positions: 4 o'clock, 2 o'clock, 12 o'clock, 10 o'clock and 7 o'clock.

In all, there are 46 total treatments, so that means this thing is shooting my prostate 230 times with a beam of high level radiation.

Most men are understandably nervous to have anything aimed at their pelvis. I am among them. The side effects can be very damaging and embarassing to a guy. How much I will have to deal with those side effects is unknown...though I have already had a couple that are mild.

Other changes that have happened to me is that my beard was once very dark and bristly. Now the hair in my beard is nearly all grey and very very soft and fine.  The hair on my head used to be thick. When I got a haircut today, Tom told me my hair was much finer that it was the last time he saw me. It  is still growing a lot, but it is finer. When I stop all this treatment with radiation and hormones, supposedly it will return to its prior state.

I have never been very good with change, but I am learning to deal with it. People, churches and institutions need to understand their context and learn to adjust expectations and behavior if they want to get healthy and live. Its scary, disconcerting and difficult to make those changes reality, but it must be done to some extent if they want to continue to live and prosper. I have to make some personal changes in diet and activity.

Every time I go get a treatment, it is right before lunch. When I eat lunch following the treatment, I am much more aware of the nutrition value of the food before me or the choices I have. The baked chips and the salad taste better. I am not that concerned about having red meat. In fact, once or twice I have opened my lunch and found beef in there or sausage...and I feel a bit scared to eat it. I am satisfied with chicken or tuna...and suddenly I am interested in finding organic veggies and fruit. They are more expensive, but I try to add at least some of them to my diet.

Vegetarian friends have pushed me very hard to follow their diet. I have always felt in the past that vegetarians were a bit radical...that their intent is good but they go too far with it. I went to that restaurant on North Flores Street in SA named "GREEN." I tried their vegetarian meatloaf (say what?) and it was very tasty. The problem was that after that...uh...er...uh...well...lets say I didn't get any work done because I couldn't stay out of the bathroom. Not pleasant at all. So, after that, Vegetarianism seems a bit of a stretch for me. It is very hard for me to imagine having all my meals be meatless.

I did buy some ground turkey and cooked them as hamburgers. They were more than tolerable...they were very good to my surprise. Except for the feel of the meat as you compress it into burgers, it looks and tastes the same. That same ground turkey in chili, though, is a real loser. The only beef substitute that I can handle for chili is venison, but that is hard to come by unless you are a hunter.

It is amazing what being shot over and over again with radiation will bring to your conscousness. Surprising too. So, forward we go...onward through the fog. I wonder what else will happen?

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