Mar 12, 2011 - 10:32 am
After joining and posting a few questions several months ago, I strangely stopped visiting the site - avoidance? I don't know. I've been in good spirits with some ups and downs. This condition and the effects of treatment are frustrating though.
My third and last chemo was January 25, and the final radiation treatment was Feb. 7. So far I've had one followup with the Med/Onc, and one with the ENT. Things are looking good, but not progressing nearly fast enough for me. It will be at least another month before I go back for a PET scan.
The few weeks before and after the last radiation treatment were challenging. I lost my voice completely for a while, it's back but a bit hoarse. I'm feeling a (very) tiny bit better daily. The dry mouth and horrible taste are the big problems now. If they would go away, I'd feel 95% back to normal. I have a constant ringing in my ears as well, but really don't notice it most of the time. I'm weak and shaky, I attribute that to intentional weight loss. The Med/Onc suggested that if I wanted to reduce my intake of formula (Iso-Source 1.5) it would be a good time. I've lost about 20 pounds since I got the ok to lose weight. I lost less than 10 pounds during treatment. They wanted me to maintain my weight through treatment. I had lost 65 pounds before all this started from improved eating habits and exercise, and when the cancer was discovered, I was in the best shape I had been in almost 10 years. I now stand at 85# lost from my all-time high of around 320!!
I'm still using the feeding tube. Have not eaten solid food since Christmas day, but I try to eat something almost every day. Most everything tastes so nasty, I can barely get it down without gagging. I can drink milk and did eat a cookie and a spoonful of ice cream yesterday. I could get them down, but there was no enjoyment, and I used to love ice cream.
I have been getting out and doing things socially. In fact later today I'm putting on the dress blues and going to a recruit class graduation and party afterward. Last weekend I participated in a fundraiser for St. Baldrick's where my head was shaved to raise funds for childhood cancer. You can see the before and after pictures here:
Will be going back to work in 2-3 weeks on light-duty, mainly because my sick leave is going to run out.
So for those who have waded through the long post, how long did it take for the dry-mouth to go away, and how long did it take for food to start tasting normal again, and how long before your sense of taste was back to where it was. I really miss eating and want to get back to a healthy diet ASAP. This canned crapola I'm putting in me every day can't be providing the best nutrition! I see it as a maintenance diet to keep me going for a while.