It’s now some five months since my last dose of chemotherapy and my body and brain are definitely starting to show signs of improvement. For the past couple of weeks my nails have been very fragile and have flaked off around the edges, something they didn’t do during chemo, so I’m convincing myself that this is a consequence of the chemo having worked its way through to my extremities. My hair is pretty much back to where it was before chemo, though, strangely, before chemo it was grey shading to white whereas now it is dark brown though my beard continues to be grey shading to white. Sadly it hasn’t come back any thicker than it was before the chemo. My concentration levels are definitely improving but concentrating hard for a lengthy period does take it out of me. Last week I went for an interview which required me to take computer tests of my abilities in Microsoft Word and Excel. Three years ago I was teaching exactly the kind of things I was being tested on, but during the tests I struggled with fatigue. I spent the week after that working my way through Microsoft’s on-line training and re-took the tests this week with much improved results. The next day I was quite tired and I do wonder how I will deal with a full day’s work when I do get a job. Early nights and weekend lie-ins might be the only way! In the meantime I’m going through the daily grind of job searching: searching emails that bring me literally hundreds of job openings, sorting through them as I try to spot the ones where I can angle my skills, experience and qualifications to make an impact from those where I don’t have a prayer, and then adapting my resume and completing on-line applications. After that it’s a case of doing more internet research to try and find something else and then going through the same process. It is a grind. Enthusiasm wanes. Energy wanes. The search goes on.
On my travels around the web reading about chemo, the consequences of chemo and alternatives to chemo I came across a lot of stuff which I thought might or might not be accurate. The general rule of thumb in these cases is to have a look at the source and if the source seems reputable then I usually concluded that the “science” behind the article might well be OK as well. I’m sure that most people reading this will have read similar articles at some point. Statements such as, “eat this fruit/vegetable as it kills cancer cells”, “eat lots of vegetables as they cure cancer”, “avoid stress as it causes cancer”, “alternative therapies cure cancer”, and so on, and so on, and so on. I was pleased therefore to read this blog from Cancer Research UK this week which puts these things into perspective. Dealing with cancer is tough enough, both for those who have it and their families and friends, without being fed crap by the press. As Cancer Research UK says in the article, it is important to eat a balanced diet which includes fruit and vegetables, but on their own they won’t kill the cancer cells.