I am feeling better. The progress is slow but it is noticeable and it is happening. My body bounced back so quickly from surgery I was hoping I’d see the same thing with radiation and chemo. That hasn’t been the case but I am moving in the right direction. I still can’t eat or drink so the feeding tube is my nutrition source. My weight is bouncing around from 160-165 but is stable. The other day Camilla said that I look like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes.
I am a full TEN DAYS post radiation treatment. My 33rd and final dose was last Tuesday. I was told that coming out of radiation is like pulling a burrito out of the microwave — it’s going to stay hot for awhile after finishing its time in the cooker. I have noticed some small improvements in my mouth and throat, but for the most part I am still cooking. The mouth sores haven’t cleared up but they are a little less painful. The most challenging part has been the thick mucus build up in the back of my throat that makes it difficult to talk and almost impossible to sleep. I can typically get about 45-60 minutes of sleep before waking up needing to clean out my mouth and caugh up so gross loogie.
Last radiation treatment, some of the family came to cheer me on. You can kind of tell in this picture that the skin on my face around my mouth and lower cheeks is darker. It looks like I was out skiing all day and got a really bad sunburn below my goggles. If only!
I have my last round of chemo on April 12th. A few weeks after that we will have a PET / CT scan to see how all this fire and poison has done at killing cancer.
Last night I was kind of at my wits end — sleep deprived, mouth on fire, and on the front end of yet another sleepless night. I just didn’t know how I could do another night like the past 2-3 weeks. I offered a prayer that God has heard from me a hundred times. Please, oh God, provide me strength to endure well and give me relief from I can no longer bear.
For me, it was a clear and personal and unmistakable answer to prayer. I still woke up several times and still had to take my pain pill in the middle of the night, but I had two extended periods of sleep that were both about three hours long. And best of all, when I woke up I felt like me. I didn’t have to go through my morning routine of giving myself a pep talk and persuading my body to get out of bed and conquer the day. I just woke up and it felt like a normal morning. Normalcy has been what I crave and God knew it and he gave me a glimpse of it.
Maybe a corner was turned and tonight and every night going forward will be easier. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll gag my way through a rough night tonight. Either way, I’m grateful for the answer to prayer last night and all the other countless blessings we have received. We have never felt alone through this experience, especially when we’ve needed it most.
Fly the W.