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Thursday, April 26, 2018

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY

It was one year ago today that I had my 3rd biopsy.  It was a Core Needle Biopsy performed at the Thibodaux hospital - as the Houma hospital did not do this type of procedure.  In my opinion, this should be the first procedure done as it is more accurate than a Fine Needle Biopsy.  The doctor (Dr. Arthurs) was very confident that this would provide accurate results and he was right.  

I was so relieved when the results came in.  Now I knew just what I had and could begin treatment.  In my gut, I knew it was Squamous Cell Carcinoma but needed a biopsy to prove it.  I was 69 years old.   The same age my father was when he died of the same cancer.

On the morning of February 3rd 2017, after brushing my teeth, I looked up in the mirror and saw a lump on the left side of my neck.  Immediately felt that this was serious and not just a swollen gland.  Just a gut feeling but very scary.  It took 3 months to be verified.




Sunday, April 22, 2018

FINALLY ATE SOME FRENCH FRIES


Last night I cooked some french fries and dipped them in ketchup.  I've never been a ketchum eater but figured that would make my mouth wet and easier to be able to swallow the potatoes.  

Last time I tried to eat fries they just stuck to my teeth and I had to scrape them off.  Couldn't swallow them and they tasted bad.  So this is good news.  My throat did burn from the ketchup but I ate some ice cream after and that eased the pain.

Maybe I'm getting just a little bit of saliva back.  That would be nice.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

UPDATE ON EATING

Today I was able to eat some turkey sausage.  I was very surprised that I was able to swallow small pieces of it with ease.  I cooked it with some red beans.

I am improving a lot when it comes to eating.  Still can't eat hamburger meat or chicken.  I eat a lot of stews and soups.  However, I'm craving meat, especially steak and pork chops.   

I'm still eating a lot of ice cream.  I have some after every meal.  Since I can only eat a few bites of real food it is what fills me up and also feels good to my throat.

Still having a red and sore throat.  I cough a lot.  Am drinking more water than ever.  The mucous is not as bad as it had been.

The worst symptom is the dry mouth.  Still have no saliva.  Use Xylimelts often to keep my mouth wet.  

Feeling  pretty good otherwise. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

CONSTIPATION AGAIN

I'm having another bout of constipation.  This is the third day of taking Miralax, glycerin suppository, and an enema with little results.  Just called my family doctor for some meds to help with this.  It's very painful.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

THE ART OF SURVIVING ON MY OWN



The Art Of Surviving

On My Own


The year 2017 was hard in so many ways but it also could have been worse so I can’t say it was a ‘bad’ year but it definitely had more downs than ups. It had more heart breaks than I expected. It wasn’t the year I hoped for. 
But I learned something valuable that year. I learned the lesson that the universe has been trying to teach me all along but I was too stubborn to listen.
That was the year I learned how to depend on myself. That was the year I realized that family doesn’t always mean love, and friendship doesn’t always mean forever. That was the year I learned that I'd better find a way to always make it on my own because my friends won’t help me and my prince charming won’t come save me and my family won’t always be there.
That was the year I learned that I need to get back up because I can’t get lazy and I can’t make temporary decisions anymore because I’m waiting for something else to happen.
That was the year I had to stop waiting. That was the year I learned that I have to work on every little part of myself. That was the year I learned that pain will never leave me alone but I have to learn how to smile. I have to learn how to wake up and find something to look forward to. I have to learn how to walk hand in hand with pain instead of trying to run away from it.
That was the year I learned that healing is not a phase, it’s an ongoing process. It’s a work in progress. It’s something you have to keep doing every day and every night because the pain might resurface and you’ll make the same mistakes again.
You’ll get heartbroken again. Someone you love will disappoint you.  You won’t always get what you wished for and as long as you’re still alive and breathing, you’ll have to figure out a way to make it — alone.
That was the year I learned that I’m the only one who can heal myself. I’m the only one who can save myself. I’m the only one who can make myself smile when things are going wrong and maybe one day I’ll learn how to make them right, but for now, I’m learning how to live with the wrongs, the mistakes, the disappointments because they won’t just go away. They won’t magically disappear.
That was the year cancer tried to kill me.  Life tried to break me into pieces but instead of asking for help or trying to find answers from people, I looked within. I came up with my own answers. I trusted myself for once, not in my decisions, but in my ability to overcome whatever life decided to throw at me and that made all the difference.  
I survived.

CAT SCAN CLEAR OF CANCER IN HEAD AND NECK AREA

Appointment with ENT today.  No need to scope as I had scan yesterday.  He did examine my throat and said it looked good.  He looked up the results of my CAT scan of head and neck and told me it looked good.  I told him of my concern that this type of cancer often returns in the lungs and my Oncologist ordered only head and neck scan.

He wants to see me again in one month.  

The Oncology office called when I got home today to say scan was clear of cancer.

Today was a good day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

ONCOLOGY APPOINTMENT TODAY - 6TH MONTH CHECKUP

It was a year ago today that I had my first biopsy and my left tonsil removed.  What a year it has been.

My Oncologist is very pleased with my recovery - even though he admitted it has been slow in coming.  Six months out of treatment and my voice is still hoarse and I still have some edema in my throat.  It is also still a bit red and a little sore when I swallow food.  I am eating a lot of different foods and my taste is improving as well as my smell.  Still having a lot of mucus but that is also improving.

Saw my ENT last month and was scoped.  He said all looked good with just some edema.
.
Tomorrow I will have my 6 month scan.  It will not be a PET scan but a CAT scan without contrast.  Oncologist told me that the insurance will not pay for a PET unless there is cause for concern.  I'll know the results in 3 days.

I have been eating a lot of ice cream as it is the only thing that tastes good and feels good in my throat.  Other foods are not really enjoyable but I force them down with coke.  Because I have no saliva I still can't eat meat or bread.  Very hard to eat potatoes even drinking coke with every bite.

I am maintaining my new weight of 140 pounds.  I get on the scale every day and if I see any gain I cut back on the ice cream.  I will NOT gain that 30 pounds I lost back.  I like the way my clothes fit now.

I am back on all of the meds I was on prior to my illness.  Taking blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, and meds for diabetes.   Now that I'm eating again all these things have resumed their high unhealthy levels.

I'm feeling pretty good these days.  Looking forward to a good 2018.