Sunday, April 19, 2009
4/19/09 One week of treatment to go !
This week has been all about holding on. Every day is one more day off the calendar and everyday things get a little more difficult. It has become more difficult to swallow any pills, so more are going into the peg tube. The phlegm has become so thick that it is really tough to deal with. We’re doing the usual things to try to thin it out but right now the salivary glands are not working well due to the radiation, so it just can’t keep up with it and thin it out. In fact it has been making it difficult to sleep at night. Right now morphine is the only help with the mouth sores and sleeping. Also the next few weeks we'll be going in for extra hydration several times. So this week is under our belt, and I imagine that our last week will be the most difficult to deal with. I am really looking forward to having the treatments be finished so we can start the healing phase of this process. The radiation will continue to do its thing for two weeks after we are done. Once things begin to heal up some in my mouth, I should be able to try to start eating again, but it is a tricky process and so much depends on how the healing goes. I need to be able to re-learn to eat, and once I can maintain my weight from eating the peg tube will be removed, most likely 1.5 to 2 months. But before we can even start the healing process there is this week to get through, one day at a time.
I had a really nice conversation with old friend and fellow head and neck cancer compatriot, James Durst. James' situation is very similar to mine, the main site is the base of tongue and he had 33 radiation treatments with infusion chemotherapy. James finished his treatments up this week and it was wonderful to swap notes. James is a great singer and guitar player and is currently working with our good friend Mark Murphy, on a wonderful program called “The Work of the Weavers.” Congratulations to James who is now starting the long healing journey after this tough treatment. It seems that he came out in one piece and I wish him all the best. I’m sure we will be swapping notes again before too long.
Yesterday our good friend Eric Ludwig and his wife Joan, along with Tom Hodgson came by for the day and we rented a wood splitter from our local Agway store. Along with Peggy they got all the wood split and stacked from the three maple trees that were taken down in our yard last fall!! Thanks so much guys, what a wonderful job!!
Well once again I am totally blown away by all of your generosity, kindness, insight, and just plain hopefulness during these days of holding on tight. Your support means more than any of you will ever know. Last week to go, keep those vibes coming strong!! I’ll look for all of you at 7:00 pm.