Drug Store Cure

Health

If a person started to experience shaking and/or trembling in their arms and legs, any sort of hearing loss, problems with vision, stomach pain, fatigue, confusion or memory problems, dizziness, depression; they would promptly alert their physician or consult with a pharmacist.

111

For the past seven months I have experienced all of those things mentioned above and a number of ailments far more disquieting.

The cause was no mystery and came as no surprise. It was my doctor that introduced these conditions. My physician had said I should expect a disruption to my regular activities at this time and the pharmacist provided literature that explained it all. I had been prescribed to take a combination of chemotherapy drugs to be taken both intravenously and orally to treat a few errant lymph nodes in my lower intestine. There would be side effects.

108

I feel fortunate to have had a healthful life so far. A few broken bones in my youth and a back injury several decades ago is about the limit of a doctors care. I haven’t had a cold in years, can’t remember having the flu, seldom the sniffles, indigestion is not a problem or do I suffer from headaches. I’m not a total vegetarian or am I completely organic nor do I practice all that I preach when talking to others about a healthy diet. However; since a young adult,  I have avoided most fast, processed, artificial, fat, sweet, packaged food stuffs in my diet. Over the years, I consistently get moderate exercise and am devoted to  my time spent in nature. When my health had shown signs of illness I would use herbs, teas and homeopathic means to root out the cause and treat the source of the irritation. Most health imbalance was remedied with diet that could improve blood cells.

Some medical tests I had in late summer of 2013 revealed that I had indications of cancer. Chemotherapy is medication given to kill cancer cells. Cancer is very fast growing and chemotherapy is designed to go into the body and kill everything that is fast growing.  Blood cells are also fast growing. So chemotherapy can reduce the number of blood cells in your body. This reduction can result in an increased risk of infection, fatigue, bleeding and disruption in a regular scheduled life. “Why wouldn’t you want to take this?” my doctored asked.

It took a lot of thought to decide about submitting to poisonous chemotherapy chemicals being  injected into my body. Something injected not to heal but to destroy. The antithesis of my health remedios. Age, medical coverage, job security all favored the doctors recommendation. September 2013 I started my treatment of Oxaliplatin and Xeloda.

109Side effects can happen and some may be serious. Seems that almost all pharmaceutical drugs nowadays have a warning about possible side effects.  Those listed for Oxaliplatin and Xeloda (both radioactive drugs) have some serious effects on the entire body. I did suffer to a lesser or greater degree all of the following, mostly all at the same time.

………Neutropenia is the reduction in the number of white blood cells  in the blood. The risk of infection greatly increases when there are too few white blood cells….Anemia is when there are not enough red blood cells in the bloodstream. When there are not enough red blood cells there is a lack of oxygen and the heart has to work harder….A low platelet count is called Thrombocytopenia. Platelets are cells that are in the blood stream that cause the blood to clot when there is bleeding. Chemotherapy can affect the bone marrow’s capability to make platelets….Some chemotherapy drugs can cause nausea, vomiting or both. You can get nausea or vomiting during, right after, or hours to days after treatment….Diarrhea is more than 2 loose or watery stools per day. It can be a side effect of treatment. Constipation is when bowel movements are not as frequent as normal and the stools are hard, small, dry, and hard to pass. Chemotherapy and many other drugs, including narcotic pain medications, can cause constipation….Changes in the mouth and throat can occur. Most chemotherapy agents are designed to kill fast growing cells. In your mouth, throat, and lips are mucous membranes, which are fast growing. Some of the problems are: dry mouth (little or no saliva)…Foods may have a metallic or chalky taste, no taste or just doesn’t taste or smell like it used to. Increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods…..Neuropathy is numbness and tingling of the nerves that usually starts in the fingertips and toes. Symptoms of neurological changes are tingling, burning, weakness or numbness in the hands or feet; feeling colder than you normally would; pain with walking; weak, tired or sore achy muscles; feeling clumsy or losing your balance; trouble picking up small objects or unable to button shirts; shaking and/or trembling; hearing loss; problems with vision; stomach pain; fatigue; confusion or memory problems; dizziness; depression……

One thing that I did not have happen is Alopecia which is the loss of hair, partial or complete, that can take place any where on the body.

107I finished the last of my chemotherapy a month ago. Mentally my reserves were low and my physical condition beat up. My insides were dead. A hollow shell with no strength left after 6 months of inactivity. The doctor said I’d had enough. I have begun the process of detoxification but I can see already that is going to take longer than I thought.

I’m excited to implement my health recovery plan as soon as I feel better and am finished with a few more medical exams. My appetite is returning and I look forward to eating a variety of foods again. Once the neuropathy subsides I will be able to take on more physical activities. Hiking some trails will be great and I haven’t been in the water for months.

All photographs Drug Store, South Park City, Fairplay, Colorado. The only medicine I hope to need for a long time in the future is some of Dr. Thatchers vegetable syrup.

Aloha, Dohn

 

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About earthstonestation

promoting environmental education, protecting all species and preserving the wild places with art, music and storytelling.
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16 Responses to Drug Store Cure

  1. McEff says:

    Dohn, that was an eye-opener for me. I had no idea that cancer treatment came with such horrendous consequences. I am so glad you have come through and that the worst of it is behind you. And as for the “mind over matter” thing, this has been a belief of mine for a number of years. A person’s outlook on life and how they spend their life has a great deal of influence on their wellbeing. Having followed your blog this past couple of years I have no doubt whatsoever that you are going to thrive.
    All the best, Alen

  2. Elisabeth Koehlnhofer says:

    Hallo Dohn,
    I´m living in the same village in Germany (Bavaria) as Cathy. Reading Cathy´s blog and sometimes commenting her posts I learned about your cancer disease. Seven years ago I probably got just the same diagnosis as you. It was an advanced rectum cancer. So I know very well what “hell” you´ve passed through. Please be hopeful and never give up! Healing and recovery will take time, but little by little you will get better.
    I´m wishing with all my heart that you will overcome this disease.
    Elisabeth

  3. Gneiss Moon says:

    All the best to you Dohn in your recovery and beyond…. I watched my Dad suffer through many of the symptoms you mentioned. Mind over matter is half the battle – they gave him months and he lived 10+ years. Sending good vibes, and I love the photos !

    • Mind over matter carried me thru most days. When that didn’t work I escaped in sleep. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Enlarge to read the labels on the bottles, pretty interesting.

  4. Greg & Sue says:

    So sorry to hear of your difficult battle; we had no idea amigo! You know how much we root for your healing, and you’re right- you’ll be back better than ever! See you out west soon…

    • Hi Greg & Sue. I had been rather quiet about the process and torment, not wanting to cause alarm or attract a lot of hokey meme’s. The worst is over now, a few tests to do. i was looking at it as a bit of preventive maintenance. Thanks commenting.

  5. Glad to hear you’re off the chemo, Dohn. Sounds like a heck of a thing to have been through. Hope you feel a lot better soon.

  6. Thank you for sharing your quiet moments and thoughts. My sentiment towards western medicine is that the oath “Do no harm first” is misunderstood. There should be intensive evaluation into what this even means and how it relates to healthcare. The actions of contemporary western medicine often times do not accurately reflect this ideal..
    I will put you in my thoughts today, hoping a strong body and mind to weather this storm.

    • Thank you Heidi. I’ve always doubted some of the approaches by western medicine. They often treat the symptoms and ignore the cause. In this circumstance with me it took a lot of thought before I agreed to the treatment. Prevention is one thing but once I was diagnosed with having a few cancerous cells (which were removed surgically) I decided not to gamble. Having medical insurance was part of that decision also. Aloha, Dohn.

  7. Cathy says:

    Good luck with the healing process Dohn – I hope you recover completely and rapidly. All the best!

  8. Pit says:

    I wish you a speedy recovery – in all aspects – and good luck on your way to full health again,
    Pit

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