Cancer treatment is hard. No, really, hear me out on this one...
I knew there would be pain from the radiation but I was not prepared for the radiation+sinus infection. That made week three a whole different kind of adventure. After a round of antibiotics I was mostly recovered from that mess and was ready for Chemo Round Two.
Chemo Round Two was definitely made worse by not being able to get any meaninful solid food down. My throat was a wreck and then I had a little more nausea, possibly due to a change in anti-nausea drugs.
This is when things got really hard. One of the worst (and most common) side effects to radiation of the neck/throat is damage to the salivary glands in the back of the mouth and top of the throat. Most associate this with a dryer mouth but, unfortunately, the effect for me has been an extreme thickening of the mucus. This is unpleasant when you are awake and still drinking and swallowing throughout the day. At night it is a special kind of hell, especially if you are easily gagged.
So, that has been my battle the past week. The gagging and pain in my throat have hit the point where it is difficult to get enough calories and hydration in everyday. Luckily, Jennifer is persisent. Really, really persistent. So, between her hard work and couple of extra trips to the doctor for IV fluids. I have managed to maintain pretty good health through these tougher day. Now we are trying a couple of new medicines so I am hopeful we can get a little more control over some of this.
On the up side
- We are more than 60% complete.
- I have the greatest FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS in the world.
- and, this thing is curable.