Jan 23, 2011

Is this too much time between posts?  Of course it is.  Any good blog keeps post writing consistent, or more consistent than this one.  But then again, who said this was a good blog.  Throatcancer2010 (dumb name?) was always a progression blog, so no new news didn’t/doesn’t deserve a post.  It’s not about me babbling about random thoughts, but the progression of treatment and recovery.

It’s been over two months since therapy ended and not much has been happening.  Except the fact that recently my throat feels very swollen.  Even outside it’s visibly swollen.  But inside, my windpipe is smaller because something is swollen.  An email about this to the rad doc came back with a response that there can definitely be delayed swelling due to radiation, but he needs to see me.

It doesn’t make sense for him to see me prior to the CAT scan results.  I was supposed to have the CAT scan Friday, two days ago.  But the night before, the diagnostic center called to say that the doctor’s office failed to get insurance approval so they needed to move my appointment.  So tomorrow it is.  Even though they’ll have the results tomorrow afternoon, the appointment with the doc isn’t until Feb 3, soonest date.

In preparation for a CAT scan with contrast, a blood test is required to make sure the kidneys can take the contrast material.  To fast-forward the process, I took the blood test in Colombia after confirming the test with the doctor’s office in the US.   It was an even more thorough test than the one I took before for the first CAT scan.  However, when I presented the results to the lab here, they would not accept them so had to do the tests again.

So until then, I’ve got to figure out how to un-swell the throat — perhaps with the clay wrap that I used during radiation.  The swelling, coupled with the super-dry throat and mouth, is balancing out the nuggets that are not without appreciation.  The ulcer on my tongue is still there and sensitive to anything remotely spicy, but at least I can get relatively whole, wet food down.

And the hole in the stomach is gradually closing.  The hole is closed, but it still has the appearance of a hole.  And the appearance of the hole is closing.

What I never thought I’d miss is shaving my face.  The radiation burned off most of the  face hairs–so much so that I could never have shaved so close and gotten the face so smooth as it is now.  The thing is, radiation missed the upper lip, so if I skip shaving there it looks like I’m making a pitiful attempt at growing a mustache.  In fact, the base follicles remain after shaving as they would normally around the face so even after shaving the dark area looks odd compared to the balance of the face.  There is also a spot untouched directly below the lower lip.  I’m not being picky, just covering all the details.  Or, I might be trying to fill a post with babble.

Full travel disclosure: after landing in New York on the 16th, the airline again lost my luggage.  This time they decided to keep my bag for five days.  No explanation and they didn’t know where it was.  They simply decided to wake me from a deep sleep two days ago at 2:30 am to give it back.  After inspecting the contents the next morning, the gift was that my clothes were missing.  I had forgotten the rule of never packing clothes you like.

In the meantime, GV has been determined to “process” all the things we have which we are not using.  We go through this every couple of years–a close examination of everything.  If it’s not being actively used or is not practical, then it gets processed.  Included in the processed goods this time are GV’s paintings.  They’ve got to move.  We can’t just keep all the art stacked up collating dust.  Most of them are beautiful and don’t deserve to be hidden.  Some pieces are, without being biased, museum-quality.  “Lightness of stuff” being the goal.  Also being processed is a like-new custom recording Yamaha drum set.  Practicing drums just doesn’t work in a small nyc apartment.  Nor does storing them.

Next post after the results of the CAT scan are known (to me).

8 thoughts on “Jan 23, 2011

  1. JA

    With your process of “processing”…what is happening with Gladys’ artwork?

    Great to hear from you…bummer about the clothes going MIA but hopefully the rest of your contents from the bio energy man were there.
    Love you!

  2. Paul

    Continue to appreciate your blog updates. May the swelling go down very soon.
    Look forward to hearing positive results of the cat scan.

    Paul and Karen

  3. Susan Forney

    Freddie: So sorry your throat, including breathing apparatus, is swollen; likewise, the delay in determining the cause. Hopefully the clean mountain air, sunlight and “outdoor” exercise you experienced in SA will contribute to an expeditious healing process.
    Hope your time there was beneficial in furthering the development and success of your business and afforded you and GV some time to enjoy companionship in a more romantic setting .
    Lots of love,

  4. Mother

    Just spent a wonderful luncheon time with your sisiters, Mary and Lynda. You, were prominent in our discussion, trying to figure out how we could contribute. One thought we had was that G could display at a bank or other such public place either in NY or Lancaster. The art would be highlighted as, Peruvian artist , Gladys Victoria and then the price. GV is a talent to be acknowledged. Another treasure is you.

    As to your Blog: one man’s seeming babble is another man’s treasure. I do wonder if the cold (frigid weather) is contributing to your swelling. Also, along with change in temp when you enter your apartment might contribute to your body’s fantastic effort to adjust to temp change.

    Don’t feel bad about feeling tired of your ordeal. The consolations we take for granted, i.e., good food, good wine, and a cooperative body have been things you have had to forgo for now but I tell you the battle has been worth it. Keep the faith, baby. So happy to see you back on the Blog. Selfish, I know but its good to feel near you .

  5. Richard

    Good luck with the swelling, Fred. Although gradual, progess is being made.
    Clutter is depressing. Processing is great and open space uplifting.

    Take care

  6. Stryker Warren jr.

    Fred: Your stamina is far more impressive than your luck. You have clearly been targeted by the airlines as a guy of means who–by definition–has great sh_t, not stuff in your Louie Vitton bags. Will await your post, post-CT with contrast. I trust that is an IV and not a slurry you swallow. . . . No need to apologize for the blog. Cannot imagine how you have pulled it off, let alone weathered the journey thru the Byzantine system we call health care in the US. Certainly a best seller–you’d have to go with a “fiction” label–once you sit down and bang it out. Hoping the mouth and throat deposit nugget upon nugget for you and GV. Luv ya mon, and admire the he_l outta ya, swjr

  7. Mother

    If one picture is worth a thousand words, would you please interpret this new, graceful, and lovely imagery on your Blog. I want to jump into the picture and walk with you.


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