Two years on. SitRep…

It’s been nearly two years since I finished treatment.

I had a scan this month, which was clear. Again. And I’m gearing up to cut loose a slew of my medical entourage. Partly because they provide nearly no value, and partly, thanks to my insurance, I pay more out of pocket. So, I’ll be cutting most of them loose.

What’s funny is that for the second time in a row, I was refused a chest CAT. Made no sense to me, since I’m already in the machine. I had the previous scan at Baylor as well and it followed the same pattern – A call saying we have better alternatives, followed by a refusal for a chest scan. Probably nothing though. I attributed it to bullshit insurance shenanigans. Didn’t care much until I chatted with my ENT oncologist this month.

He said something along the lines of “Yeah,  well when it comes back it doesn’t do it in the neck. It comes back in the chest. Great. So I have that going for me.

My mouth and throat are still real dry. Some things help like Biotene, Xilitabs, whatnot. Curiously, so does beer. Makes things work for awhile. The aftereffect is that you’re more cotten-mouthed than before. I still have taste issues. I can’t taste salty or sweet all that much. Good thing is that most junk foods are still repellent to me as is most fast food. For some curious reason, Chipotle tastes good.

And not craving this food is a really good thing too, since one of the things that happens after bombarding your neck with radiation is that your thyroid sometimes blows out. Mine did. So after a year of a killer metabolism, I have to be careful about my diet. And this created a new wave of misery, since thyroid medicine doesn’t work if you take acid reducers (like I need to). So I have to take my stomach medicine in the afternoon, and I forget. Which sucks. I’ve come to find barfing pure stomach acid really blows out your throat. I’ve also put back 20 of the nearly 70 lbs I lost.

I think it’s the beer. I need to cut back.

My stamina still sucks. I crap out way faster than I used to and I don’t recover near as fast. And I can’t figure if the things that go pear shaped are metabolism, activity, or medical. For instance, during the effort to stabilize my thyroid, the doctor said I should return to one of the blood pressure meds I jettisoned. In Dr. terms, return to a angiotensin II receptor antagonist as opposed to the beta blocker/diuretic mix I settled on. One of the side effects here is joint pain, swelling. So my joints hurt, and my feet swell.

But is that the medicine? or is it I’m at my desk all week, then went out and dug out fence posts with a 30lb digging bar? I’m guessing I did it to myself. Walking cures the swelling. The upside here is I don’t pee as much. Before on a 3 hr drive I’d stop twice. Now, I don’t stop at all. Nor do I get up much at night.

So there it is. One of the lucky, I am. I guess.