Jul 05, 2012 - 8:22 pm
I'm about to hit the five week milestone after finishing chemo and rads. I think everything is going well and I'm just an impatient person who wants to be back to normal already. :-)
I have an appointment with a speech pathologist on 7/13 and I'm trying to both wait it out without going crazy, and to not think about Friday the 13th being bad luck! Until that appointment, my doctor is strict about NOTHING by mouth except small sips of water. I had no idea that a "nothing by mouth" decree would bother me so much. I feel silly that it kind of demoralizes me, and I guess I didn't realize how many of our social activities involved some sort of eating! I think I'm swallowing water a little more easily now, which means either I've gotten better at the chin-tuck swallow, or the problem is stemming from swelling that is starting to go down. It makes sense, since part of the cancer was on my soft palette.
As of today, I'm completely off the pain patch. The pain is definitely worse than when I was on it, but bearable with some Aleve. I may have to take some Norco to sleep tonight. The crazy thing is that my doctor said that even taking one Norco every six hours is less narcotics in my system than the 25 mcg (smallest normal) patch! That's some powerful stuff!
I asked a week ago about returning to work in a couple weeks (which would have been next week), and my doctor said that ideally he would keep me home for another month. I'm hoping to get the all clear to eat at least soft foods from the speech pathologist, because it sounds strange and awkward to try to go to work on public transit with 3-4 cans of food, and then to try to find a private place to use my tube. So depending on what happens at that appointment, I may start back to work a couple days a week in two weeks... or I may not. I hope the folks at work stay patient with me working from home!
I guess I'm halfway to the post-treatment PET scan, since my doctor said it's at the 10-12 week mark. I keep worrying that we didn't get it all, or it spread, and I guess those fears are natural. I try to keep my mind off of it, but it's hard to do some days.
So things are moving forward, and I feel like I need to list out the things I'm grateful for to convince myself that I'm being dumb for feeling so miserable about stuff sometimes. I have about 50% of my saliva working (maybe a bit less), which is great. My sense of taste seems to be at least 50% back too, at least from what I can tell from sipping water and a piece of orange gum I tried (which burned... but definitely tasted sweet and like orange). Now that I'm off the narcotics, the nausea is pretty much gone, so I'm taking in 4-5 cans a day, which is over 1000 calories a day. I'm still losing weight, but it's at a much slower and safer pace.
I'm grateful for all of those things. I realize on a logical level that I'm doing really well now compared to where I could be--not just in terms of cancer, but in terms of the side and after effects. I need to keep my Spock brain engaged to tell me this, so I stop feeling sorry for myself and start getting back to having a life!
I hope the beginning of July finds everyone else safe and healthy. :-)