I got my chemo from a different pharmacy this month and it was a little jarring to open the package and see this:

I’m not a doctor, but it really looks like, based on the labels, that I shouldn’t be taking this medication. It’s toxic. I mean, it warrants a giant caution sign and neon yellow and orange coloring and a symbol that looks a bit like the nuclear symbol. It looks like I should be calling poison control if I accidentally ingest this. Yet I just purposely ingested two pills and now i’m writing a blog. This is what is supposed to make me better? And by better, I mean stable?

I know, the risks of taking these outweigh the risks of not taking these. And they have so far proven themselves useful in controlling the growth of my tumors. But they have also, for the second month in a row now, proven themselves useful in throwing everything else out of whack.

When I first started taking chemotherapy almost a year ago now–and particularly when my doctor was considering giving me infusion chemotherapy–I wasn’t a fan of calling it “poison” or “toxic.” If I was going to have to get it, I preferred to think of it as a type of therapy. A gentile drip that did good things. The word infusion evoked thoughts of tea. Tea is one of my favorite things ever. How could infusion be bad? Then I met a cancer patient who thought differently, and he sat there calling the chemotherapy that my doctor recommended for me, “poison,” while I listened in horror. He was still here and talking to me–how could he have taken poison and lived to tell the tale? Cancer is poison. Not drugs–drugs can’t be poison too.

Now that i’m in month two of my vegan trial, and nearly everything i’m putting into my body is fresh and local and not made from animals, ingesting something as processed and as unnatural as chemotherapy seems antithetical. It does seem as toxic and as poisonous as the label says. I won’t eat the food equivalent of poison to a vegan–a double bacon cheeseburger–but i’ll pop two pills without a second thought?

It’s working, though. We’re fighting fire with fire here. What choice do I have?

And all this fresh, local, not-made-from-animals food? One month of it didn’t show much change in my bloodwork. I was hoping that my liver would feel so relaxed from not having to process meat and dairy and excess oil and sugar that whatever effect my chemotherapy had on it would be counteracted by my diet. Well, based on the first month’s results, diet is no match for chemo. Maybe a few months will make more of a difference. But, for now, it’s a little like fighting fire with a cloud.

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3 Responses to poison

  1. Hopefully, the healthy diet is making you feel better even if it cannot match the effects of chemo. Sending you continued strength – you are an amazing young woman!

  2. Your healthy diet will help maintain your body always at it’s best to face “the poison”.
    You wrote “We’re fighting fire with fire here. What choice do I have?”. The way I see things, in this war you only have the power to modify the warzone (your body). You’re doing what you can!

  3. Ashli says:

    Making healthy choices for yourself (& our environment) makes sense no matter what ur going through, & I think it’s especially important now. I’m a pNETer too, & while I don’t assume vegan & unprocessed will cure me, I control what goes in my body, & I like that! 🙂 Letting go of sugar helped 2. I’m just a different person 3 years later. A better person. Happier, more peaceful. Prob has to do with a combination of things, but it certainly includes my diet. Look for emotional changes, menstrual blood changes, pms changes (mine went away), etc. Month 8 was the magic month for me. Give it time. I love vegan & unprocessed. I have no desire ever to go back. The food is just too awesomely delicious!

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