[cancer] Side effects bingo, department of signaling errors and self-tuning

Many of my chemo side effects can be ascribed to neural signaling errors. Peripheral neuropathy, cold sensitivity, various other physical and mental effects. What I’ve come to consider my two primary side effects are unrelenting fatigue, and intermittent but serious lower GI distress. What I’ve been very lucky on so far is a nearly absolute lack of nausea, and an ability to maintain my baseline body weight.

However, in the last week or so, my appetite has begun to meaningfully decline. It’s not so much a sense that things taste bad, as I just don’t want to eat them. This is not a good leading indicator for weight maintenance, and possibly also bodes poorly for future nausea control. I seem to be retreating more and more into the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast). Which is not the end of the world, and will keep me going, but wow. Much of what I still want to eat is complicated by the fact that the lower GI stress tends to compound my otherwise intermittent lactose intolerance, so I get pushed off milk, cheese and yogurt due to the explosive consequences of actually consuming them.

In other news, I had a small milkshake yesterday for the first time in years. Because it did appeal to me. Consistent? No. But neither are the side effects. It’s quite a curve over the time from infusion session to infusion session. As I’ve said before, managing this is like driving a car on ice. Every day is a bit different, and every cycle has a somewhat different rhythm.

Also, I slept poorly last night. Given that I slept well the previous three nights, this is not a disaster, but it doesn’t improve things either. The fine art of tuning myself, someday I will be a master at it.

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