My Cancer Journey - Week 20

Cat scan happened on Thursday.  It was uneventful except  for the observation that the cancer clinic sure seemed busy.  Sad to see the parking lot so full and the waiting area in the doctors section spilling out into the hallway.  The good news is that the clinic in Kelowna has a terrific reputation for its care and for the expertise it has been able to attract.  The renovations to the building are complete which means the new radiation equipment has been installed.  What they do there saves lives no matter how brutal the treatments.   

We bumped into a couple of the technicians who we got to know through my regime.  They seemed genuinely surprised and pleased at how much better I am looking.  It’s like the good news and the bad news.  On the outside I continue to get stronger and look healthier all the time.  On the inside, I continue to struggle with the impact of the radiation on my throat.  I am far from healed and deal with the changes almost daily.  The challenge is always to find the combination of solid food and calorie cocktails that I am able to tolerate without stinging, irritation and mucous build-up.  Weighed myself while at the clinic and I’m the same weight I was five weeks ago on my last visit.  I have been fatigued this week needing naps every day.  The heat of an Okanagan summer has had something to do with it and I can tell you, a nap in the air conditioning feels pretty good.

Managing expectations continues to be the most draining of the issues I face both my own and those of others.  Friends and family, other than Terrie, don’t always remember the differences between what they see on the outside and what I feel on the inside.  They don’t always understand the lack of stamina and the need to  lie down or what problems various foods present.  So I try to explain.  That’s all I can do while Terrie tempers my frustrations by reminding me how far I’ve come and how quickly.

Next week is the three month check-up with the radiation oncologist.  My friend Mac asked me if I am apprehensive.  Yes I am.  He advised to get used to it because with every check-up from now on will be the questions, am I clear and will I continue to be clear.  Mac knows of which he speaks now clear for 4+ years.

I will hold next week’s update until after the doctor’s appointment on Friday.