How has it been three weeks since I started chemo? Highlights of this past week include: getting a robot vacuum and learning how to use it, bulk prepping healthy smoothies to take with temozolomide, and enjoying more food and flavors than I thought possible while on Temo Chemo™. In all Chemo Week 3 wasn’t too bad.
Let’s start with the Neabot N1 Plus that arrived on Monday, because this thing is fan-fucking-tastic. First, we named our robot vacuum Chad because I was tired of saying “robot vacuum” all the time. It took a day or two for me to figure out how to operate Chad efficiently, but it is was 100% the funnest thing ever because in the end we have covid risk-free help with a chore that used to be massively impossible for us.
Izzy and Boomer were both a little freaked out by Chad at first, but by the end of the first day, they had accepted our home’s new addition. Izzy would even park beside Chad and fall asleep waiting for him to start sucking again. It was so cute.
Chad’s noise level is tolerable while he’s running and is really stinking loud when he returns to home base to empty his dustbin. But the emptying only lasts a few seconds, and I wouldn’t say it’s any louder than a standard vacuum.
He’s mapped almost the entire house, so using the app I can tell Chad to clean a single area, the whole house, or a set of specific rooms. (If the rooms are too dirty, he struggles and things get clogged. So I recommend picking up the heavy stuff yourself one last time before you give this vacuum a go.)
If you want to see my play-by-play tweets including app screenshots and stuff, definitely check out my Twitter threads from this past week.
Swapped out a subscription service for Apple TV to watch Ted Lasso.— Emily Suess (@EmilySuess) September 11, 2021
Now I’ve got 40 minutes before chemo to do a thing, so I’m going to try to clear off some table space in the office.
Pray for me. I’m going in. pic.twitter.com/oQiNocoqDz
This past week I also changed up how I’m taking my temozolomide. I moved dose time to 1:00 pm and started bulk making smoothies and having one every day with my chemo. The result is that I have a few decent (it’s still chemo, guys, so “decent” is relative) hours in the morning to feel like an actual human being. Basically, I am now sleeping through the worst of the side effects.
The smoothies are tasting great, and because they help me stay hydrated, help repair my gut biome (they include yogurt), and help me get my whole day of fruit and veg in so I don’t have to feel guilty about just eating what sounds good to me the rest of the day.
Anyway, here’s the “recipe” for these bad boys:
2 lbs fresh strawberries
18 oz fresh blueberries
16 oz fresh raspberries
1/2 lb raw spinach
16 oz yogurt
I got my produce from Costco and blended the ingredients in a standard sized blender in two batches, just halving the ingredients above for each blend. Then I filled 5 of the 6 glass jars I recently purchased on Amazon and chucked them in the freezer. Then I set them out on the counter to thaw in the morning, and they are ready by chemo time.
A couple of notes: since I used all fresh (not frozen) fruit and veg, I didn’t add any water to the blender. I couldn’t get bananas on the day I got my Instacart order, but if I had I probably could have filled all 6 of the the 2-cup jars. (PS if you want to support me AND sign up for Instacart you can use referral code ESUESS17D148.)
Because I stopped taking ondansetron this week, I’ve been feeling better. I’ve had fewer headaches and felt better hydrated. And because of that I’ve been able to escape a vicious catch-22 of puking and taking more ondansetron and getting dizzy and dehydrated and puking and taking more ondansetron.
I’m hitting the lemon ginger tea and the ginger candies pretty hard instead. And feeling less nauseated has meant eating is easier—enjoyable even! A wider variety of food is tasting good. Including this amazing apple cider donut from Dunkin’, some chicken satay from Siam Terrace last night, and my one true indulgence: caramel frappes from McDonald’s. (Your GoFundMe donations don’t just help me pay for the ongoing direct medical costs of the brain cancer, they also keep Dan and I from having to expend limited energy on cooking, which in turn lets us focus on living better with our maladies. So, thank you!)