Friday, May 4, 2012

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Well, every doctor and nurse that spoke to me said that the symptoms would get worse during the first 2-3 weeks after my treatments had ended. So far, this hasn't been the case. Symptoms have changed slightly, some are worse, some are better. All are annoying. (excuse me, I gotta go spit) Mucous, which I refer to as slime, gathers in my throat and makes it feel pretty tight. I'm still unable to eat and using the PEG tube has become a monotonous, slime-producing drudgery. But I am over one week beyond my last treatment, so I can't imagine things turning sour at this point. I'm basically just hanging in there until the symptoms start to fade. If I can evacuate most of the slime, my voice actually sounds more normal for the first time in four months.

On a lighter note, the lost hair on the back of my neck will grow back but the missing whiskers will not. No big deal - shaving's a bother. However, if I try to grow a beard I think I'll look like I have crop circles. I have noticed that the burnt skin on my neck is starting to peel off, like the doctor said it would. Lovely. They describe it as sunburn; it's more like a tan that has dried out the skin and it's now starting to flake off. There's no heat to it and no burning.  It's like smoked meat instead of skin, not a red sunburn.

I haven't been able to eat real food for weeks, and for months now food has tasted terrible even when I did try to eat it. I'm never hungry so therefore I never have the desire to eat, but on Wednesday night I dreamed that I was eating a roast beef dinner, and loving it! So at least subconsciously I may be making some progress. I almost woke up hungry. I've lost 30 pounds over the past 4 months.  I haven't been at this weight since I was in high school.

I'm getting out every other day or so to mow the lawn or do other light yard work, or to run a few errands. But I don't have much stamina; I usually have to take a nap after doing anything even slightly strenuous. I think real progress will start to be made when I am able to eat again. I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel - I just hope it's not the headlight of an oncoming train.

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