Time to Heal

It is Sunday, April 19th. My last radiation therapy treatment was a week ago Friday (4/9), and I’ve been in healing mode since. The discomfort in my throat reached a high point in the final days of radiation, and persisted for about 3 days after treatments ended.  Since then, I have felt a little bit better each day. Where I was saying that swallowing pain had reached an 8 out of 10 at its worst (I’m a tough grader), a week later I’m back to a 2 out of 10. So I’m doing much, much better.

I had been keeping up with work throughout my treatments, but it was great this past week to really be able to sink my teeth into all the different projects that my team has been working on. And it was nice not to have to excuse myself at 1:15 every afternoon to drive into Georgetown Hospital.

The node on my neck is probably one-fifth the size it was when treatments started, and I think it’s still getting smaller as the dead cancer cells get processed and expelled from my body. I will see Dr. Davidson, the head & neck cancer surgeon at Georgetown, again on May 6th, and believe he will recommend the surgical removal of what remains on my neck, regardless of how small it has become. I’m fine with this.

I go in this Tuesday for follow up appointments with Dr. Liu (medical oncologist) and Dr. Harter (radiation oncologist). Not sure what all to expect, but a blood test with Dr. Liu is likely to make sure my blood and organ functions are returning to normal following the chemo treatments. Both Drs. Liu and Harter have told me that they’ll make me wait for 3-4 months before doing the follow-up PET scan. The reason for the time delay is to allow my body to heal completely, since in-process healing could trigger false positives for fast-growing cancer cells.

My sense of taste is starting to return, albeit slowly. I am not yet enjoying food, but it is *less bad* than it was during the treatments. At the rate of change that I’ve observed over the last week, I think it’ll be a month before food starts to really taste good again. I’ll get there. In the meantime, Ensure Plus is my friend.

I’m supposed to stay out of the sun, but I haven’t been able to resist tooling around in my candy-red Miata over the last several days, enjoying some beautiful spring weather here in the DC area. Celebrating, I suppose!

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3 Responses to Time to Heal

  1. Vicki Moncrief says:

    You are on your way!!!!!

  2. Good to read the worst is over and normalcy returns. Overjoyed you have survived the cost of a deeper appreciation for life. Be well. 🙂

  3. Cousin Lisa says:

    Great, great news!