Treatment: Patience

Yeah, it’s been a few days since I’ve reported. Reason? Nothing much to report.

Getting back to normal — or somewhere near that neighborhood — is turning out to be a long, slow process. Getting zapped in the neck for six weeks by X-rays emanating from a linear beam accelerator with a triple chaser of cisplatin injected directly into my sub-clavicular vein whipped the living hell out of my body to such an extent that its healing capabilities are being tested to the max even at this late date.

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My pharynx is still burnt and continues to slough off dermal and mucous layers. I still have a throatful of green phlegm and a mouthful of ropey saliva, neither of which allow me to swallow much, certainly not food and not even a cooling sip of water. I’m still so weak Terra the Cat could probably thrash the bejesus out of me. Not only that, my hearing has been negatively affected — I have a chronic case of tinnitus right now. I have no idea how long it’ll last. Ear-ringing is a normal side effect of my particular brand of chemotherapy. Oh, and my upper register hearing is messed up so it sounds like I’m listening to my headphones with the treble turned down to zero.

But that’s just the bad news. There’s good news, enough to outweigh the bad. I’m driving myself to appointments now. The brushes I had with dehydration are in the past since I began to push fluids like crazy into my stomach tube. My potassium and magnesium levels are sweet. It still feels as though I’ve been suffering a two-month-long flu — exhaustion, sore throat, weakness, overall malaise — although each of these little symptoms seems to be inexorably albeit glacially easing up. Happily, too, I don’t have the sense that my skin is crawling off my body at bedtime anymore which itself is a boon to praise the gods for.

I brought in a couple of boxes of chocolates to the infusion gang today, a selection of Godiva wrapped mini-bars and a 12-pack of Ferrero Rocher hazelnut creamy chocolates in wafer shells. I immediately became the odds-on favorite to win the presidential nominations of both parties, although I would have traded it all in to be able to keep the boxes and jam the contents therein into my facehole until empty — a process certain to last no more than 33 seconds.

My chocolate-benders — as well as my pizza-, burrito-, lasagna-, pad Thai-, Italian beef-, blueberry pie-, and sundry other -benders — await further healing on my part. I know they’re in my future. I just don’t know when.

On the whole, I’m coming along and I’m alive, which is pretty much all a cancer guy can ask for.

One thought on “Treatment: Patience

  1. Susan Sandberg says:

    Steady as she goes, patience is a virtue and all that good stuff! Thanks for writing, Big Mike, it helps us all to assess, adjust and prioritize!

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