Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cancer: Recovery Weeks 1 and 2

Now that the therapy has concluded with an appropriate fanfare (Puccini's Tosca belting out Saint James Infirmary) I can relax and recover.  Right?  Wrong.  Real wrong.  I've spent most of my days in the hospital hooked up to multiple bags holding various concoctions which are guaranteed to keep my electrolytes in balance.  We hope.

The real blessing is that the constant nausea is gone or is under control.  The stomach being a small part of the digestive system, the intestines are free to give me one form of hell or another, and I now know that my mother's favorite son can have constipation and diarrhea at the same time.

Right now I'm getting nutrition from a bag of slop hooked up to my feeding tube and being fed into me by a pump.  If not for the pump regulating the flow, I would truly be up against it.

I want to thank all of you for your kind words, prayers and patience.  This is a bad road I'm on and every single prayer helps.  Just this afternoon Main Lady stopped over with a small bowl of yellow squash soup, and wonder of wonders I could actually taste the soup.  I am overjoyed, literally.  Everything else tastes like sawdust, and because of my dry mouth condition most foods are off the menu - I need soup or something the consistency of soup, not too spicy because my throat has the same feeling you get right after a tonsillectomy.

The pain medications are making me paranoid and hallucinate.  Not badly, mind you, but hallucinations are what they are.

Well, thanks to all of you. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cancer: Last and Final Treatment

I had my final treatment today.  As of today, no more chemo therapy and no more radiation therapy.  I'm officially done.

Now the tough part starts.  All that collateral damage has to be repaired, and the urban renewal process is tough and takes time.  For instance, Monday night I landed in the ER with my electrolytes out of balance to the point of magnesium being critically low.  I was unable to move my arms and legs, I was hallucinating and generally incoherent.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and Divine intervention, I'm still alive and with us. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cancer: Week 7 Day 4

Today is my birthday and my final chemo therapy treatment.  Of better news is that I was given a pump to use with my feeding tube.

The deal is I have a feeding tube.  In theory I take a can of highly concentrated, high caloric liquid food and poor it down the tube and into my stomach.  The trouble is and likely has been, is that the stomach can't handle it.  Think: you go from a diet (diet?  you call that a diet?) diet of junk food and gin to something that any triathlete would call desirably, disgustingly healthy and you wouldn't know what to do either.  So the stomach threatens an abrupt return to sender until the mystery substance can be identified and dealt with.

Enter the pump.

The pump accepts a huge bag of this health slop on one end and dispenses said slop into the stomach one tiny teaspoon full per minute.  The stomach gets used to getting a nutritious substance in this fashion and doesn't act up.  Much.  So now the nausea is, we all pray and hope, a thing of the past.

Prayers answered, and we may all thank the Lord for this one.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cancer: Week 7 Day 3

I woke up yesterday afternoon and discovered that I've lost my voice.  I cannot talk at all; only whisper.  I'm told this is an expected side effect of the radiation therapy.

The skin on my neck and throat is burned and the nausea continues.  I can't eat anything without becoming nauseous, and the medication for nausea is not all that helpful.  The only real cure is time. I'm supposed to consume 2000 calories per day; I'm doing good to eat 1100.  Yesterday I managed about 1800 or so, which took a Herculean effort on my part.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cancer: Week 7, Day 1

Seven weeks of treatment.  My final radiological treatment is one week from Tuesday (tomorrow); my final chemo treatment is this Thursday.  Then I'm done with therapy and things will get worse for three weeks.

Nausea comes in waves.  I've never been so sick in my life. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cancer and Rock Bottom

Last night, Wednesday, I hit rock bottom.  My digestive tract was malfunctioning in ways I couldn't believe were possible.  Nausea came in waves, accentuated by a spike in my fever.  I was so miserable I wanted to die.  Why should I live through this?  I couldn't come up with a good reason, but the effort of assembling myself, my pistol and a conveniently private place where my remains would be guaranteed to be discovered by the authorities was just too much effort.  So here I am.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cancer, Week 6

I'm still alive.  My dietician tells me I'm not eating enough, which is probably true, so this week is going to be food week.  The problem is that my mouth is so dry that anything resembling a bread product is automatically rejected.  My sense of taste is, for all intents and purposes, gone.  Everything tastes like low-grade sawdust.  My energy level is down, which isn't helping.

The team on the radiology side have got their act together and are handling their set of side effects very well, meaning my pain level is easily tolerable.  The chemo side has been a different matter up until I switched oncologists; I picked the one the nurses feared, respected and universally disliked.  I met him and consider him a good, regular type guy who happens to be a whole lot smarter than everyone else.  Question: how would you handle it if the people you were forced to work with were all retards?  Let me amend that question: how do you handle it?  Because we've all been there, right?

This morning things aren't too awful bad.  We'll see how the day shakes out.

One good thing is that I no longer need Lorazepam (Ativan) to get through my radiology treatment.  I'm happy with that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Status Update

I'm too sick to write.  Most of the medical staff tell me I'm doing real good.  One reminded me they never said this would be easy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thank You

My sincere thanks to everyone who has prayed for me or who has left a comment.  You have no idea what a line or two of encouragement means, so I'll tell you: The lift is enormous.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Still Alive

To those who can't tell from the next post, I'm still alive.  I'm sick as a dog, but I'm alive and I am not giving up.  For one thing, there's all those anti-freedom moonbats out there who would celebrate my demise - and I'm not going to give them the satisfaction.

English As Our Official Language

What's the problem with making English the official language of the United States?  This comes up every few years and every time it does, the media is flooded by moonbats who rant, rave and screed about racial prejudice and other bad things.  You know what?  I no longer care.

Keep reading for my own somewhat profane rant.  Warning: politically incorrect.