Category Archives: two weeks post therapy

w2/d5, pt

On the check-out release form they give you the last day of radiation treatment, it says that the side effects of radiation should improve 2-3 weeks after the last day of treatment.  My last day of treatment was Nov 17th, so that puts week 2 at Dec 2 and week 3 at Dec 9.  It’s a given that everyone is different and the intensities of radiation vary, but generally, between 2-3 weeks are when conditions start improving.  OK then, a few more days to a week.  I’m patiently waiting with the best humor I can muster.

It was nice having the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend to kind of pull in and huddle.  During the weekend, I didn’t go anywhere, except twice to the gym for one hour aerobic workouts, armed with magic mouthwash (to dull pain) & spit cup.  The balance of the time was spent at home, watching movies with GV and pretending to read a little.

The inside of the mouth is still very sore and full of ulcers.  Can’t wait to see these guys start to fad into nothingness.  The ulcers around the sides of the tongue and along the cheek and back of the throat are the reason for nugget prevention.  Combined with periodic mucus attacks,  going too far in public does not a pleasant experience make.  However, over the last couple of days, after lots of gargling with salt water and baking soda, I’m starting to speak somewhat more coherent for a few minutes at a time.

Yesterday, Sunday, it was such as nice day that GV and I decided to walk to Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge to a little French place on Atlantic Avenue, about a 5 mile walk one-way.  We bundled up and again I’m armed this time with a few spittoon cups and magic mouthwash at the ready, made it to our destination in about one hour and 40 minutes, where GV had a coffee and I sipped on a green tea. The food they were serving looked too good, don’t know how GV resisted.  It’s easy for me simply because eating is impossible for now.  For now, it’s imagining what the taste would be like.

So after the fresh walk back home we settled in for several hours of Sunday afternoon and evening football.  Never watched so much football in my life as this weekend.  For some reason, it just felt right.  It’s like watching something real, yet light and stimulating.   The bonus of the walk was sleeping like a baby straight through until this morning.

w2/d1, pt Happy Thanksgiving Day

Today starting the second full week post radiation.  Sometime during this and next week is when things should be turning around.  So far, it still feels like I’m in peak zone.  The three nuggets I’m looking for a still no where around, but they’ll show up.  They’ve got to soon.  Until then, it’s dealing with severe mouth pain and inability to talk or eat.

But today is Thanksgiving Day.  It should be a healthy reminder that this is a day beyond turkeys and cranberry sauce, and a day of truly feeling thankful for what we have.  And I’m especially thankful to all those who have followed this blog.  I can see from the site stats that a few of you read every day.  I’d like all of you to know that I’m very  grateful.  And I wouldn’t be getting through all of this near as easy if it wasn’t for GV, who has been super supportive, making the living as practical and comfortable especially putting up with my non-stop hacking into a little cup all day.

The other thing I’ve realized as it’s later in this process is that the blog posts might be better off done in the morning, or at least earlier in the day.  Left until the end of the day has left a few go unposted-due-to-fatigue.

 

So until more news or another day, wishing everyone who reads this a very warm and most excellent Happy Thanksgiving Day.

 

w1/d5, pt

This is the first Monday since September without therapy. And five days into cool-down and still no sigh of a curve in the road.

Tomorrow is weekly doctor check-in. Can’t come too soon. Have got to get the pain meds worked out right. I’m walking around way too groggy. But for as strong as they are supposed to be, I can’t imagine how much pain they are handling.

w1/d3 & 4, pt

Day 3 & 4 post treatment are no better or worse than the prior days.  It appears we are in a holding pattern waiting access to the recovery.

The tongue still feels like every  once in a while someone is grabbing it with a pair vice grips and twisting it around.

Another on-going challenge is managing the ideal pain/fatigue level.  Right now I’m feeling like passing out several times during the day.  Writing these posts takes a large effort.  Which tells me I’m on too much medication.  However, they tell me I’m only on a very beginning to moderate level.  Regardless, the pain can shoot up to 10 on the 10 scale fairly quickly.

I did manage to get in a sauna at the gym both Sat and Sunday.  That was the extent of it though.  Too fatigued to do anything else, yet knowing that a little activity is a good thing.  Taking saunas is like a mini-cleanse.

Still, the most important item by far and away is that the nuggets are still now where in sight.

w1/d2, pt

Now, finally heading into a weekend with a two-day head start.  So far, I can verify that it has been more difficult in the post t area.  More empirical evidence can vouch for that.

But I’m only looking for little nuggets in these couple of weeks.  Just hoping they don’t come at the backend of the window.  Hey there have been several times the Time Warner cable guys showed up toward the beginning part of their estimated window.  There’s no reason I shouldn’t think the same with the nuggets I’m looking for.

Specifically three nuggets would have me about jumping for joy.  Nugget number one would be to be able to go several hours straight without involuntarily trying to throw up the thick phlegm in the throat.  Really though, it’d be great to see this time period an entire day/night without the risk of being chocked on by my own inflamed mucus.

The other two nuggets are simple.  One being able to eat/drink something (anything).   The other being able to talk again.

But there is really nothing new to report on this day two post therapy.

w1/d1, pt

The noticeable daily differences for the next week should not be too much different than those during the last few weeks.  During the last six weeks the measurable effects without therapy were the weekends.  Given that my therapy was daily at 7am, there were many Saturdays and Sundays I felt noticeably worse than the Friday of treatment.  So by the time I drug myself to Monday’s treatment, it was 72 hours later.

To look at any noticeable differences going the other way, logic says it will be at least 72 hours from yesterday if even the possibility exists to feeling noticeably better.  Of course, this is using only empirical data.  Which means, I’ve got to get the meditation part working quickly (possible?).

Anyhow, the intent of this category ‘two weeks post therapy’ is to document any noticeable differences in these two weeks.  Or perhaps it’s just me reaching for something.  Anything.

This being the first day in the last 6 1/2 weeks that there was no weekday therapy, I left my apartment this morning the same time regardless.  However, rather then opening the front door and going right for the due east one mile walk to the East Side hospital, I turned left for a due west one mile walk to the Hudson River.  This will be the opposite routine for the next two weeks.

But today’s challenge has been nothing but phlegm.  Yes, there is stiff pain which makes talking and drinking prohibitive, but the main challenge far and above is phlegm.

In New York City, one walks.  It’s a walking city.  So now when I leave the abode, it needs to be with a backpack of paper towels for constant hacking.  It’s not pretty.  I don’t know of anyone who’d want to be walking with me under these conditions.  An example which happened on multiple occasions today would be: heavy phlegm is coming up (ever so slowly) the swollen esophagus canal and about reaching the base of the tongue.  At that point, it starts producing an involuntary heaving reaction.  I hunch over slightly and whip out a paper towel on the sidewalk and in a discreet vomit reaction, start coughing up thick phlegm.  The option is chocking.  Not pretty?  No,…just plain ugly.

The good news is, I’m getting the sleep positions worked out.  Last night needed only three gargling cleaning sessions throughout the night.