Cancer Diary Page 4

 Nov 3, 1996
I know I haven't updated this in a while, but nothing much happened for a couple of weeks. I have been busy seeing the dentist, oncologist and radiation doctor. I went to the radiation doctor on Thursday, Oct 31 and was fitted for a mask to hold my head still. Rather appropriate for Halloween, I think. And I went back on Friday to have everything aligned for the radiation.

The mask is very tight fitting and uncomfortable. I had to lay on the table for about 45 minutes without moving in order for all the alignments and marks to be made and checked. Very uncomfortable. My back was sore and stiff all the rest of the day.

 As always, my treatment changes from doctor visit to doctor visit. 3 weeks ago I was looking at radiation twice a day, and Thursday it was changed to once a day for 7-8 weeks.Thus the side effects will be greatly reduced. And I should recover quicker.

 Speaking of recovering, my oncologist sent me and my employer notes that I won't be ready for work until June of 1997. And All my treatment is to be done by the first of the year. I guess that she thinks that radiation will cause a major problem for me.

On Monday I go into the hospital for my first radiation treatment and 3rd chemo. I will also get a Hohn line inserted into my chest to take my IV's, as my arms are in bad condition from the IV's. Then the Monday after I will have a tube put in my stomach for feeding, as the radiation will make my throat to sore to eat.

Emotionally, I am mostly very upbeat, all though I still have a few bouts of depression. My wife is mostly upbeat, also. And the kids seem to be holding up quite well. I am not looking forward to the next 2 months of treatment. My taste buds will start to go bad about the time I get rid of the effects of the chemo. Then I will develop a dry mouth as my salivary glands will be severely damaged. And I will develop a very sore throat, and have a great deal of diffuculty in swallowing. I have been given medicine to counter the dry mouth, and I will put an icepack on my face every day before radiation. This should help preserve my saliva. All in all, not a lot to look forward to in the next 2 months. And it all takes place over the prime eating time of the year. :-(

 I will try to update more often dickc