I've been in a fog lately. It's not my usual absentmindedness. Rather, the effects of an increase in my serum calcium are being felt.
I find I'm not able to think as quickly or as clearly as usual. Clarity comes, but with greater effort. Perhaps thinking at length about it makes this mild inability to focus seem worse than it is. I've always had the attention span of a bolt of lightning, but concentrating at home and on the job -- where concentration is crucial, given my line of work -- has become much more difficult of late.
I get tired fairly easily and have needed midday naps more than usual. I have the energy to walk around my favorite Manhattan neighborhood, the East Village, to take photos, but find I need to rest and recharge upon getting home. Otherwise, I can't function. I've felt slightly more energetic the past two days, but I still feel very much off.
My appetite has been minimal these past two weeks or so. I'm just not very hungry. Oddly, sashimi (specifically tuna, salmon, shrimp and fluke) is among the few foods that I've been able to eat with eagerness, and even to excess. To put it in perspective, when I began my struggle with parathyroid cancer in 2002, I weighed 157 pounds. Today, I'm 132. I attribute part of this to exercise, but loss of appetite is also a symptom of the illness.
My knees are constantly stiff and in pain. Part of this is certainly due to my middle age, but my joints shouldn't be this achy and inflexible at this point. I walk up the stairs to the fourth floor of my office, but it's becoming increasingly difficult. My arms also hurt more and they become tired easily.
I've arranged to undergo an intravenous treatment with the calcium-lowering drug Zometa as soon as this week. I'm as needle-phobic as they come, but dealing with the phobia is better than continuing to feel like shit.
I have a consultation Friday with a surgeon at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on the feasibility of further surgery. Last year around this time, his opinion was that it would be a futile effort, and I doubt his position will have changed. My "regular" surgeon, who knows my insides better than I do, has already come down against that option.
So, I wait and endure.