Day 35 – Last radiation treatment.

June 26th, 2012

Had my last radiation treatment today, go me!

Sort of.

I have this horrible case of mucus coming from my sinuses trying to choke me, so I’m constantly having to try to form a loogy, sometimes it works, sometimes it just brings up stomach contents. I’ve been doing some Mucinex to help out with it, but it makes it almost too dry.

My regular spit still seems to be rather thick, so I’m spitting it in to an empty deer park bottle, as well as the loogies I bring up.

Let’s see, what else. Thrush is still with me, don’t know if that’s what is causing the pain when swallowing, as it did in the first week or so of having it, only to go away ( the pain with swallowing, although the thrush never disappeared entirely ) or if my throat is just burned from the radiation. At this point in the treatment I’m willing to bet it’s probably burned/damaged in some way that will need to heal.

I have radiation burns across my neck, more heavily on the right side than on the left, since the right is where my lymph tumors were. It’s going to take anywhere from two to three weeks for my body to regrow the skin there, so until then I just have to keep this silvadene stuff on it which is really meant more for it’s anti-bacterial use more than any healing use, plus it helps take the sting out a bit and helps to hydrate the area. So, for now, I sit around the house in my black wife beaters because the necks are wide enough to not touch the burns.

Also, sleeping, I’ve maybe gotten a few hours of sleep over the past couple of days ( and before then I’d argue I’d gotten none in about five to six days ). I don’t know if it’s because of the resting naps I take during the day ( where I usually don’t fall asleep, I just try to relax ) to help with the whole being tired/worn out, or just my body saying not right now. Part of it might be due to the mucus, coughing and hacking yourself awake at 4 in the morning because some mucus almost choked you to death is not a pleasant feeling. It’s also hocking up the loogies every 15 to 30 to maybe 40 minutes, there’s no real time in there to fall asleep before you wake up again to make another deposit.

What is better? I can poop! This is very important, and anyone who has ever been blocked up for any appreciable amount of time can understand. Part of chemo is giving you a pretty powerful anti-nausea medicine which also dries up everything, you also have other anti-nausea medicine that you take in pill form as well that just prolongs the issue. Anyway, after being off of that stuff for a time ( week and a half since last chemo ) I’m finally back to some semblance of normal.

I have an additional medicine that’s supposed to dry up my mucus/spit a bit, but of course it’s normally an anti-nausea medicine so one of the side effects is constipation, and I don’t know what’s worse, being backed up or having to spit every 20 minutes ( especially after the thing I had to do last time I was backed up that I won’t give any details on ). At this point, I think some of the being tired is due to lack of sleep, so I’ll probably give it a try and see how it works over the next few days.

There’s also the sores in the mouth. I popped a blister a while back that was dangling from the roof of the back of my throat, that was a mistake ( I was playing with it ). I’ve had smaller blisters, that weren’t dangling, that I’ve left alone and they seem to disappear in a day or three. I would call it discomfort in my mouth and pain swallowing, and while I didn’t ask, it’ll probably clear up about the same time my skin regrows on my neck.

Due to the phlegm/mucus, I don’t really like talking right now. I don’t want to exhale while talking too hard for fear it will hurt, and I can’t really modulate to a regular voice because it sounds watery and I constantly have to do a throat clear.

That’s it for now, my 35 days of cancer treatment for Head and Neck Cancer, T1N2bM0 was the classification for it, it was diagnosed as HPV related Head and Neck, which gives me something approaching a 90% survival rate out to five years ( I think in the literature it says 89% but the docs all bumped it to 90% to make it sound better ), and is supposedly one of the easiest to treat/eradicate with the one/two punch I’ve done of chemo and radiation. I have a couple of follow-ups in a couple weeks with both of my oncologists. I’ll have a follow-up PET CT scan in about three months to see if the treatments have done their job and then we’ll go from there.

Day 34

June 25th, 2012

Uno Mas!

Day 33

June 22nd, 2012

Two more to go … just two more. I think I can, I think I can.

Day 32

June 21st, 2012

One step closer. 32 down, three to go.

Day 31

June 20th, 2012

Not much more to add. Could talk about bodily functions, but what fun is that.

Finished up my radiation today, and only have four left. I’ve got radiation burn going on my neck for sure, I sit around the house wearing a wife beater because the neck is large enough that the fabric doesn’t touch it and irritate it any more.

Ug, I’m so ready for this to be over.

Day 30

June 19th, 2012

Mark it as done ( as in the day ).

Five more to go.

Day 29

June 18th, 2012

Six to go.

Feeling pretty miserable, ready for it to be over. And even when it’s over it’s not over for a couple of weeks. :-\

Day 28 – Last day of chemo.

June 15th, 2012

Last day of chemo was today, yay! However, I won’t be recovering from it for another 14 to 21 days, boo. So, I still expect to feel tired and worn down, but hopefully that will be slacking off after a week or so.

Spoke with my HemoOncologist, which is how I separate out him from my RadiationOncologist, since I have to see both. Anyway, spoke with Dr. Spira, have a follow-up appointment to go over how I’m doing on July 2nd, where I’ll have blood work done again – nope, not done with needles by a long shot, and I’ll get the blood work back then, and we’ll probably talk about my appetite or lack of one, although I am hungry – right now, so I should get on that. As well as everything else, and then probably set up another PET CT scan for a month or two down the line to see where the tumor is at, if it’s even there ( I can hope! ).

Otherwise, seven more radiations, then I get to hit a gong. I’ve developed a bit of a burn on the right side of my lower neck from where I get bombarded. My Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Bajaj, ordered up the XClair for me, I mentioned it before, and it does a really good job of getting the sting, just need to apply liberally and often.

Saliva is still present, still spitting in to a bottle most times, but the thrush is still getting me, so I have this lump in the middle back part of my mouth that I have to get over when I swallow anything, was really hoping the drug I was taking would knock that thrush out for a while, but with the chemistry of my mouth the way it is right now, I’m probably looking at having thrush for a while still. So, I have drugs and a salt/baking soda rinse I do that helps. But with my lowering blood counts, my body has a really hard time fighting off things like this/defending against it. So it might not be until that 21 day period after chemo when my blood counts are supposed to pop back up that I might not see any changes.

Day 27

June 14th, 2012

Every day I’m shufflin’.

Day 26

June 13th, 2012

I went back and re-read through some of my earlier day posts, like Day 1, Day 2, etc. Day 1 was interesting, I mentioned how I was told that by the time the 25th treatment or so I’ll be ready for this to be over with.

There is definitely truth to that statement. It’s partially because I’m tired of being tired and worn down. I never liked the idea of eating through a tube. I hate this fucking phlegm/saliva. I hate that I think my breath probably smells like some strange pit from hell, if my saliva/spit is any sense of what it smells like, it’s pretty bad. But mostly, I think the reason why I’m ready for it to be over with is I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only two more radiations this week, and my last chemo. From there I just have to go through one more week of radiation, then just two days worth the following week. Then that’s it, I can let my body get back to getting better and hopefully improving on the things I’m having issues with.

Anyway, day 26 finished. Nine more to go.