Monday, April 9, 2012

High Anxiety

Not much to report from last week; sessions were fairly normal. The discomfort in the throat increases slightly each day, but nothing to panic about - more like an annoyance than anything else. To combat the pain, I've started to take 5-8 ml of liquid hydrocodone thru my PEG tube twice a day: once in the morning before going to a session and once before dinner, so I can swallow. It tends to deaden the pain and release some of the tightness I feel in my throat when swallowing. I'm eating less and relying more on the cans of nutritional supplement through the PEG tube. I'm up to 3 cans a day.

When the radiation sessions started, I had some anxiety about being able to complete 30 sessions after reading about the side effects of this type of radiation. The most severe side effects could be loss of speech, loss of taste, and believe it or not cancer from the radiation itself. The loss of speech and taste could even be permanent, but it's not likely to happen. Even getting cancer is a remote possibility. Considering the surgeon removed the tumor and the affected lymph nodes, and found no other cancer cells, made the decision to go with radiation a tough one. I decided to trust that he knew best for my particular case and went with the radiation.

I had more anxiety at the beginning than I do now about finishing all 30 sessions. I finished #18 today with just 12 more to go. Provided there's no dramatic increase in pain or symptoms, quitting would be unjustified. Part of the reason I'm doing this blog is to describe what it's like going through this type of cancer and treatment, in the hope that others with the same diagnosis could hear first-hand how I dealt with it. But a good part of the reason I'm doing this blog is that once it gets out there for everyone to read, I'll have to go through to the end no matter how uncomfortable or annoying things get, or I won't be able to face my friends or relatives.

I'm taking this one day at a time, and as long as I'm able to get up and go to my next session, that's what I'm doing.

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