Cancer Treatment Ends and Recovery Begins

Hi. This is what happened, on some levels, during the last week of my treatment and the three and a half weeks since. The good news is they all say I’m doing great, except for the medical oncologist, the one in charge of the chemo. She pointed out that I’d lost weight, and that my white counts were low, so I need to do something about that. Well, I have been, gained a bit of weight since then.  I mentioned that sort of “pilly” vibe to another of the doctors, and was advised that that was kind of par for the course, any #2 doctor on a team was going to tend to go strictly by the numbers. Generally only peers will argue. When I was a chiropractor working in an office I encountered all sorts of fanciful invisible fences in the way we treated each other that I’ve mostly managed to avoid in most of my life. Anyway, the … Read more

Cancer Treatment, Fifth Week

They way it’s been is I see the radiation Doc who’s supervising the treatment and right afterwards some new side effect starts to develop. In this case, after the Wednesday appointment of the fourth week my saliva started to get thick and ropy. It got to a point of I’ll call it moderate intensity and stayed there. I can still swallow but it begins to be a chore. Appetite decreased. Diet has been going toward liquid. Soups, juices, commercial nutrient shakes. I can still chew, but it’s a chore. Lost about 10 pounds in 5 weeks. Abdomen is experiencing periods of minimal queasiness. I’m supposed to wait for “severe nausea” to take compazine. This isn’t even quite nausea. But going in that direction. White cells and platelets are down but “not too bad.” They are suspending one of the chemo drugs, taxol, because they don’t like one of my liver numbers. This will slightly change the possibility of metastases in … Read more

Cancer Treatment Update

We’re three weeks and 4 days in on a six and a half week course. They’re doing radiation on my throat 5 days a week and chemo once a week. The Taxol chemo has a possible side effect of peripheral neuropathy, which is altered sensation in the fingers and toes. To forestall that we used ice gloves and booties. First time we went straight through for an hour and a half. That was rough. I devised a meditative “distraction” routine: breathe this way, then that way, etc. and then we were convinced that we could take breaks. So next time we went twenty minutes ice then five minutes break. Stopped being a problem. Then this last blood test the bilirubin was high so they suspended the Taxol for next week, so we won’t need to use cold gloves anyway. The big difference in the first two weeks was the time. It’s been basically twelve hours per week of doctor stuff. … Read more

I Have Cancer

11/20/2022 The health stuff. As I wrote before, the responses have ranged from “I don’t want details” to “Give me details.” This is my middle of the road response. “If there’s anything I can do…” some of you have written. Yes, buy stuff. Keep that wheel turning. Now: what’s happening here. Yes, it’s cancer. Throat cancer. The “better” kind. Very treatable, they say. They’ve decided that they’ll give me radiation and chemo for 6 weeks. There are side effects. Not all people have them, or some of them. Some have permanent problems. You can’t really tell until you do it. There are non-standard treatments for the cancer. The ones I looked into have anecdotal data only. It’s difficult to get data about how often they didn’t work. I’m kind of not interested in those. My treatment team told me I should keep doing everything I can do as long as I can. I can go out to to the post … Read more