Time For An Update – On to Radiation

Oh, my – I’ve let a month go by without updating this blog. I guess that’s what happens when you start into recovery.

My last Chemo was July 20. I returned to work (half days) the first full week of September. The second and third weeks I worked into the afternoons. Then the last week of September was very close to full time. I still have energy issues but that’s not the worst of it.

The worst thing going on still for me is dry mouth. I visited my dentist a few weeks back, since I couldn’t closer to treatment, and my dentist and hygienist were very concerned. I left with dry mouth toothpaste, dry mouth mouth wash, and other goodies.

For those not experience it, Chemo tends to cause severe dry mouth. And without saliva food sticks to your teeth like super glue. It’s not a pleasant thing.

But as I write this update Oct. 4, the bigger issue is my status. I had a PET scan two weeks ago and heard from my oncologist this past Monday. “I’m really happy with most all of your result, nice and clean.”

Now, paying attention – did you read what I heard? “Most.”

The original big, bad groin lymph node still has some traces of cancer – very small – but that was it. Originally the node had swollen to 5 centimeters and is  now down to 1.5. My Doc said he was certain the residual Chemo in my body would get it and the cancer would disappear sooner or later. He indicated the radiologist who read my PET scan indicated a similar opinion.

But the one thing I have read is getting the cancer gone – thoroughly as possible – the first time does have a positive impact in preventing a reoccurrence.

Doc suggested we “spot weld it.” You have to love him. Of course, by that, he meant radiation. So I met Dr. Mary Margaret Reese Friday to discuss the spot weld. I don’t know what I was expecting honestly – but I was not expecting three weeks of five days a week radiation. But that’s what I’m about to undertake.

Now, chemo vs radiation is a mismatch. Radiation, particularly in the low dosage I’ll be receiving does generally not cause a lot of side effects. I was told I should expect some dryness, maybe some itchiness, and at worst the feeling of a light sunburn.

I go in Monday to get my crotch tattooed. I just really wanted to type that line! 🙂

Essentially they use a non-permanent ink to mark the spot.

My doctor, friends with cancer experience, and lots of others assure me this is not unusual. I just assumed after having such a good report following my fourth Chemo it would be gone. It’s not. Ok, one more adventure I guess.

POSTSCRIPT: I sort of have my hair back – full goatee has returned and pretty much the same color. I have about 1/8-inch of fuzz on my head which appears to be hair. It seems like it’s coming in darker with a bit of a salt and pepper thing. We’ll see.

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About Howard

After most of my career in the newspaper business I joined higher education, working in Public Affairs. I write mostly about value wine.
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One Response to Time For An Update – On to Radiation

  1. these are great news 🙂 congratulations

    Like

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