Well I think it’s time to check in again with my cancer treatment and figure out what is going on.
I’ve now had 10 radiation treatments and the side effects are starting to crop up. I haven’t found anything that wasn’t explained to me before I started this but so far.
1/ My salivary glands are shutting down. This has a couple of effects. One is that the sense of taste is altered without enough saliva to start the digestive process and that has been noticeable. I can’t tell till I actually eat something whether it will still taste about the same or quite different. It’s unusual to try something you’ve been eating your whole life and find it tastes very different. It has been in a couple of instances quite unpalatable, french fries, and at other times not bad tasting just very different, macaroni.
The other problem with a loss of saliva is that it leaves your teeth very prone to decay. Saliva is usually rinsing sugars and acids off your teeth all day long and when this stops you have to do something about it. The nice doctors have given me a mouth wash that I am supposed to use 4 times a day and I have been told to keep a jug of baking soda dissolved in water around and use it several times a day to rinse my mouth and help neutralize the acid in there.
2/ My throat and mouth is getting beaten up now by the radiation. The result is like a bad strep throat infection except there is no fever. Just the soreness and pain. It also effects the entire inside of the mouth so cheeks, gums, tongue and throat are all getting painful. This ends up making it harder and harder to eat and they want me to keep eating because they want me to keep up my energy in order to rebuild the good cells after they kill all the cancer cells. The doctors have given me a topical anesthetic to numb the mouth and throat so I can keep eating longer into the treatments but they are also inserting a feeding tube into my stomach next week so I can get nourishment through the tube when it becomes too painful to continue eating normally.
Other than that the process goes on. 10 down 25 to go and then it’s back to fun in the sun and all sorts of other foolishness.