Championship Rounds – To My Family, Friends, Colleagues and Listeners-Viewers of Let’s Talk Nutrition

Championship Rounds – To My Family, Friends,

Colleagues and Listeners-Viewers of Let’s Talk Nutrition

 

Dr. Michael Garko, Ph.D.

Nationally Syndicated Host-Producer of Let’s Talk Nutrition

 

Suggested Citation: Garko, M. G. (2016, December).  Championship rounds. To family, friends, colleagues and listeners-viewers of Let’s Talk Nutrition. Health and Wellness Monthly. Retrieved (insert month, day, year), from www.letstalknutrition.com.

I am now in the championship rounds of this fight cancer, that is, the latter rounds where getting up off the stool to answer the bell gets tougher and tougher but can make the difference in the outcome. The pain associated with the oral mucositis and now bone pain from injections of Neupogen to raise white blood cell count are making these latter rounds challenging.

The chronic pain takes a toll by simply wearing you down. It is like a steady barrage of jabs to the head and heavy body punches. Bone pain in my back has gotten as high as 8 (body punches), while mouth pain is a steady 5-6 (jabs to the head), if both are not properly moderated with medications or otherwise if you do not duck or move out of the way. Constipation is a constant issue no matter what natural or medical approaches are used to correct the problem. Then there is the psychological-emotional dimension. That is a fight unto itself. Each day there is a different challenge with which to cope. Throughout, no two days have been the same, making every round of the fight more difficult.

I started out at 175lbs. I am now at 155 lbs. The only food I can eat and taste now is vegetable broth with added vegetables, spices-herbs and pastina. I am subsisting on this entirely. No taste and pain when eating erase any ambition to eat, no matter how much you may want to eat. The good news is that I have been able to manage the nausea and have kept my hair. I will take it.

While the above description sounds a bit difficult, compared to what I have seen over these past seven weeks with other cancer patients, it is equivalent only to a head cold. I am grateful for being able to wage the fight and accept the discomfort with as much grace as I can muster. I also have a good corner and cut men, in Dr. Fink, Dr. Greenberg and Dr. Forman.

This is end of the 7th week of treatment of chemo once a week for 4 hrs. and radiation 5 days a week. Treatment concludes January 13th, next Friday.

I have kept out a lot of other details but I think you get the picture of what has and is happening. I will keep you apprised of how things develop in these latter, championship rounds. I am shared this metaphorical account because I have learned that those who have not experienced cancer directly or indirectly do not have a real understanding of what the experience is like, beyond losing your hair and suffering from nausea (which do not always happen in some cases). So this is my way of trying to help others know a little more about the everyday experience of battling cancer.

This fight is far from over. While only a week remains, the toughest rounds are ahead. Radiation has turned out to be the single most difficult part of the treatment. I am told the worst is to come next week. At least, I have the advantage of knowing which punches are coming.

I will see you on the radio and in the ring.

Suggested Citation: Garko, M. G. (2016, December).  Championship rounds. To family, friends, colleagues and listeners-viewers of Let’s Talk Nutrition. Health and Wellness Monthly. Retrieved (insert month, day, year), from www.letstalknutrition.com.