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Monday, August 21, 2017

SLEPT THROUGH THE ECLIPSE

Got cleaned up and dressed this morning which was a big accomplishment.  Went to the store for supplies.  Wasn't as weak as I have been in the past but still couldn't wait to get back home.  Did a little laundry and cleaned by bathroom a little.  Haven't been able to do much housekeeping in the last couple of months.

Today I ingested 712 calories, 40 grams of protein, and 24 ounces of water. 
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I hoping that once the pain in my throat becomes less severe I will be able to drink water as well as push it down my PEG tube.  I'm really concerned about not getting enough water in order to help in the healing process.  

Another big concern is that my ability to swallow will be in need of some exercise.  I'm just so afraid to aspirate now when I take sips of water.  I cough a lot after swallowing.  Sometimes I feel the water come back up into my throat and I have to keep swallowing several times to get it to stay down.  

Some cancer patients have scar tissue that forms and closes up the throat and they have to have a trach and continue to use the PEG tube the rest of their life.   I sure hope that doesn't happen to me.

I'm doing some exercises for my lymphedema in my neck.  The purpose is to try and get the lymph fluid to disperse as it can no longer do so on it's own due to the radiation damage.  It just takes a few minutes a day and easy to do.

I slept through the eclipse today.  I forgot all about it. 



Sunday, August 20, 2017

A QUIET SUNDAY

Last night I woke every few hours due to throat pain.  The label on the pain med states 15ml every 6 hours.  I have been taking only 5ml every 3-4 hours.  Last night I took 10ml every 3 hours.  It provided me a better night's sleep.  It also helps to dry up the mucous which is what chokes me as it pools in my throat.

Today I spent on the sofa again - sleeping on and off.  I'm hoping tomorrow I will have the strength to bathe and get dressed to go to the store for some supplies.

Today I ingested 822 calories, 54 grams of protein, and 20 ounces of water.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

SWALLOWING RAZOR BLADES

Another day on the sofa.  I tend to fall asleep on and off, only to be awakened minutes later choking with mucous in my throat.  I cough it up but can't spit it out so swallow it.  Disgusting.

Dogs are getting used to the routine that we are not going for a walk but that they will use the fenced in back yard to potty.  I think because I don't talk to them anymore that they feel unloved.  When I do force my voice out I don't sound like myself and can't form my words clearly.  I try to use hand gestures to get them to do what I want them to do.  It hurts to talk.

My throat pain is now getting to the point of pain that has been described by throat cancer survivors as swallowing razor blades.  I was wondering when that was going to happen to me.  I have had to double the amount of pain meds to 10ml every three hours.  At this rate, I'll need another bottle soon.  I have an appointment with the Oncologist in 4 days and will request another script at that time.  I may need something stronger so I can take less at a time.

Today I ingested 802 calories, 48 grams of protein, and 28 ounces of water.


Friday, August 18, 2017

THAT LAST TREATMENT KEPT ME DOWN TODAY

Stayed most of the day on the sofa.  Didn't walk the dogs.  Did let them out into the back yard a couple of times.  My throat hurts a little more than usual.  Taking more pain meds and more often.

Today I ingested 712 calories, 40 grams of protein and 18 ounces of water.

I expect to feel better tomorrow and will increase my calories at least up to 800.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

THIRTY FIFTH AND FINAL TREATMENT TODAY

My brother drove me to treatment today.  Evelyn, Ann, and Carolyn met us there.  I had my treatment and then I gave the techs gifts I brought for them.   Some peace rock paintings that I did last year.  They seemed to like them.

Then we did the ringing of the bell ceremony.  I was given a Certificate of Accomplishment and there was a bubble machine shooting bubbles all around the room.   I rang the bell three times then several more times for photo shots.  One of my Radiation Technicians took photos with my cell phone for me.  And everyone else used their phones for photos and videos.  Here are some of the photos.



Enjoying the wet bubbles on my face, while Carolyn, Evelyn, Bob, and Ann look on.

Reading my Certificate

Ann is holding my mask that I get to take home.

Even on this photo you can see the large protruding area on the left side of the mask where the lymph node was the size of an egg.
Here it sits on a table in front of my fireplace.  It has flowers behind it which makes it look like a face.  Freaky.

Then it was time to see the Oncologist.  He told me that he was very pleased in my healing process.  My neck burns are minimal and the pain medication dose I take is small but adequate.  I am going to be seeing him again on August 23rd at 3:30.   He encouraged me to call if I needed any more pain meds.  I assured him I would.

 He said that I would be having a PET Scan in about 3 months.  That would show if the area at the base of my tongue is healed.  He is pretty sure that the lymph node is free of cancer.  He said that I could have a scope performed by Dr. Beyer if I wanted - in order to check on the base of tongue cancer.  I said that I would prefer Dr. Beyer to have the look down my throat.  I have an appointment scheduled on September 6th at 1:30.   

He also mentioned that I may have to see a therapist for the problems I have swallowing.  Also I have lymphedema in my neck caused by the radiation and may need to learn exercises to relieve that.

Then it was time to go home.  Evelyn and Carolyn brought me a door hanger.

I hung it on my front door.

Words on the back.

Thanks a bunch.  I really like it. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

THIRTY FOURTH TREATMENT TODAY

Only one left to go.  



Met with the Dietician today and she told me that she discussed with other co-workers about my case and they are all stumped as to how I am not losing weight on an intake of only 500 to 800 calories a day.  I assured her that I will be taking in more calories from now on by using the Glucerna 1.5 in the can.  I think my body is in starvation mode and my organs are being damaged by this.

Today I ingested 890 calories, 50 grams of protein, and 22 ounces of water.

Looking forward to tomorrow's last treatment.   Will be taking a photo of me ringing the bell along with friends and family who helped me through this ordeal.




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

THIRTY THIRD TREATMENT TODAY

Drove myself to treatment early so I could go to the Financial Office to submit paperwork requested in order to get approval for assistance.  Jennifer assured me that I would know something in a week and that no action to collect money owed by me would be taken.

Started ingesting the Glucerna I purchased online that initially made me sick.  So far I have not had any negative reaction.  I only ingest half the 8 ounce can at a time so that may be why I'm handling it so well now.  It has also helped me to have my first bowel movement in 3 days.

Today I ingested 890 calories, 50 grams of protein, and 21 ounces of water.  Getting the calories up but still not taking in enough water.  My shrunken stomach just can't handle all that liquid at one time.  I would have to flush my tube with 2 ounces of water every 30 minutes just to get half of the water I need to have in a day. 

Had a visitor today.  My friend Pat came by to see how I was doing.  Although it hurts to talk I managed to have a nice long visit with him.   My little dogs love him and gave him lots of little wet kisses.  
They really miss seeing the neighbors and taking afternoon walks.  I'm just not up to walking them at this time.  They give me these pitiful little eyes to say, "Why are you always on the sofa?  Why can't we go for a walk?"  I feel so sorry for them.