2/1/2001 Almost finished with the second week of chemo and radiation. Yesterday I noticed what felt like the start of a sore throat in the neck area. Candace checked it out and it is not a sore throat, but the effects of radiation. Met with Dr McCord after my radiation treatment this morning and he said the soreness is to be expected at this stage of the treatment. He also said it's going to get worse, but if it gets too bad, there is a narcotic that can be drunk 20 minutes before eating to keep the pain down to a tolerable level. Otherwise, everything else is about the same - lips are numb, not much sense of taste and the fingers do not have a lot of feeling in them. Still no nausea from the chemo, so things are good. The next big day will be on 2/12 when we meet with Dr. Yaffe. Asked Dr. McCord today about when I might expect my next diagnostic CT scan. He said the radiation will continue working for several weeks after the therapy is stopped, so he likes to go for a base line CT around 6 weeks after the end of radiation. However. Dr Moore, the surgeon, said he wanted to get inside me 4-6 weeks after the end of treatment. Sounds like we're getting close to the point where the good doctors will need to consult and figure out what's going to happen after radiation and when it's going to take place. We will approach all this with Dr Yaffe on the 12th.
2/13/2001 Lot's of stuff going on! First of all, I finally
told the boss (2/6) I had to go on disability. The combination
of chemo and radiation was just wearing me out badly and it was
time to start taking care of myself. Work has been wonderful
and it helps keep my mind off the disease. Walking out the door
that day was about the hardest thing I've done. I just hate the
way the cancer keeps taking parts of my life. It turned out that
this was the right thing to do. On Thursday (2/8) I started coming
down with a cold - one that has knocked Candace back pretty badly.
The big fear was it kicking into pneumonia and bringing all the
treatments to a halt. Got plenty of rest and was able to shake
the cold by Saturday! Expect I had some antibodies buried down
deep that came to my rescue. On Monday (2/12) I started my 4th
week of radiation and chemo.
2/15/2001 Met with the Dr. McCord today and he said I would be finished with radiation on Tuesday, 2/20! So, just a couple zaps next week and we should move beyond radiation and chemotherapy. Dr. McCord suggested getting in touch with the surgeon as quickly as possible because if we go more than 6 weeks between the end of radiation and surgery, he wants me to have even more radiation. Called Dr. Moore and we have an appointment to see him on 3/13 at 9AM. If all goes quickly, should be in surgery before the end of March.
2/26/2001 It's been a TOUGH week. Here's the rundown. Was
disconnected from chemo and finished with radiation on the 20th.
Swallowing was getting very difficult by then, but I was able
to get a can of soup down without too much trouble. Dr. Yaffe
prescribed some fentanyl patches for pain relief and I got a
box of 10 Tuesday afternoon. Radonc said, during the final meeting
on Tuesday, that the radiation would continue to work for up
to a week after the end of treatments and throat would get even
more painful. Came home that afternoon and decided to try one
of the patches. Didn't seem to notice much effect, but there
was some relief of throat pain. Went to bed Tuesday and slept
And back to today... the throat is feeling much better and the quantity of liquids being consumed is increasing . Swallowing own saliva isn't painful any longer (it was so during the worst of the week) and had some canned peaches for lunch. It's been a really bad week, but it appears we have turned the corner now and things will continue to improve. Might be getting some feeling back into my lips and the sense of taste appears to be erratic, but there. All I want right now is one REALLY GOOD meal - with taster and swallower working - before going into surgery. Not sure if the taster will be working 100%, but looks like the swallower might be. Not sure where my weight is right now. Was 195 when weighed in on Tuesday, but expect I've broken into the 180s after this week.