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30 January - Prunes and laxatives

I'm sure you are all happy to know that I survived the start of my fourth chemotherapy cycle without suffering chronic constipation. :) This time we were prepared. Besides my usual prunes for breakfast we stepped up the laxative tablets to three a day, plus a dish of beetroot before lunch and dinner. We also had more liquid meals such as borscht or stew. I don't think I can look at another beetroot - not for another 4 weeks anyway. As suggested by the doctor, I also took only one anti-sickness tablet per day instead of two.

The chemo still makes me more than usually lethargic (or just plain lazy) but it was a fine day so this afternoon I hauled ass and Olga and I walked to Harris Park and back - the best part of a couple of miles. This seems to be about my limit these days, and I'm still very sweaty by the end of it.

The higher mountains of the Lake District were iced white with snow. Looking across at them I felt rather sad: I doubt if I will ever regain enough fitness to walk the fells again.

I don't understand why I feel so physically weak when it was only my brain that has had surgery, but I believe it may be down to the dexomethasone, a cortico-steroid, which I take to control inflammation of the brain that might otherwise cause headaches or seizures. These steroids are completely different from the kind taken by body-builders and cause muscle wastage (and many other harmful effects, if you read the packet.) So I have lost fitness built up over many years that will probably take years to regain, if ever.