By Wednesday after I start taking my weekly Xeloda®, my feet start hurting before I get out of bed, so on the way to pouring my cup of coffee I stop and pick up from the freezer sheets of ice that Marvin bought me and that work beautifully. Unlike other ice packs or bags of peas, these are small ice cubes frozen in a sheet. They are very cold, like regular ice, and maintain their very cold state longer than the frozen bags of veggies—and I have tried various veggies with the same result. After a brief few minutes, the veggies melt, and upon refreezing they begin turning into a solid block of ice that loses its flexibility.
Not so with the sheets of ice cubes. They maintain their chill longer than other soft ice packs, and they can wrap around the foot or hand easily for maximum freeze relief for pain. The sheet that my husband bought was long, so I cut it in almost half—one sheet is one row of cubes longer than the other—and I put them on the floor, cube side down and smooth side up, in front of my chair and rest my feet on top of each sheet. As they begin to work by freezing the pain, I scrunch them up between my feet to freeze the inside edges of my feet as well as the outside, which get the first dose of freeze. I alternate freeze with a little break of feet off the ice to get the maximum time on the ice sheets. The relief usually comes shortly after the initial pain from the combination of pain and application of ice.
By the time I finish with the application of ice, it is time to take a nap. I am not sure whether it is just the chemo alone or the combination of the chemo and the pain in the feet that makes me so sleepy, but every day I sleep at least two hours in the afternoon. Before that I can hardly keep myself sitting up straight at the computer or on the sofa as I start falling asleep sitting upright. This is after even a decent night’s sleep.
Maybe it’s the exertion of the hand exercises I do every day with my therapy balls and various writing and other activities. This is for the damage to the spinal cord for which I had surgery on 04/18/12. I have been coloring in the anatomy coloring book that I have had for several years and used to use when I taught dance to review the muscle groups. I must be a visual learner to some extent since I always felt like I remembered the muscle groups better after I had colored in the muscles in my coloring book. Sometimes I think that people should resort to coloring for relaxation because it is a nice way to kick back and relax while learning or reinforcing. Or just skip the learning and do it just for fun. Kids shouldn’t be the only ones who color for fun.5 6 7 8
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