Posted by: dave1949 | 2010/01/27

10 Down 25 to go.

No more cookie Monster for a while.

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.

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Responses

  1. Wow. That sounds rough. I wish you didn’t have to go through all this. It sounds worse than what I went through with radiation for breast cancer. Take care, be strong, and thanks for the update – I was wondering how you were doing.

  2. Hang tough Dave, I can’t begin to even imagine what you are feeling let alone what you are going through…

    Just know that I’m sending prayers your way. Take care.

  3. Enjoying food and drink is one of the more basic pleasures in life. It’s awful that you have to lose that. Hopefully, not for too long. Can you get hold of any “Miracle Fruit”? It does strange and wonderful things to your tastebuds. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/28/dining/28flavor.html

  4. To all of you, Thanks for the kind thoughts. I have since found out that what has specifically gone wrong with my sense of taste is that I can’t taste sweet things anymore. This is expected to be a temporary thing but I was warned that on rare occasions it can be permanent and that would sure suck.
    Two weeks in now and 5 to go and they haven’t found a way to kill me yet so I guess it’s going as it’s supposed to.
    I know this if I get a vote next time I’m voting for simple tonsilittis instead of this.

  5. Hang in there – hope the treatment kills all that cancer for good. Thanks for the tip on the glasses – my friends will tell you, fashion is not my strong point 🙂

    You know what they say – what doesn’t kill you will makes you stronger? Or something like that. Hope you are enjoying riding soon if not right now.

  6. Charisa, Good grief I live in the great white north and although not religious in the normal sense I do know God does not want me to ride if my toes get uncomfortably cold. My season usually starts around about Easter or so.
    Thanks for the good thoughts and I guarantee you if any of my friends find out I was giving fashion advice it would be coffee out the nose time.


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