The light at the end of the tunnel of my cancer journey turned out to be an actual light and not a train. I’m finally ending this chapter of my life.
I was due to visit my radiation doctor for what was really a six year visit. Normally, it’s five years before the cut you loose. However, three years in or so, they saw some “spots” on my lung they wanted to track. I usually see him first, then the chemo lady, then the ENT oncologist.
So off to the imaging place I went to get another CAT scan, so we’d have something to talk about at the appointment. The Corona virus panic hit just the week before. So when I got to my appointment, things were crazy. After a long wait, which is unusual for his office, I’m in the exam room and I hear him reviewing my stuff and deciding to cut me loose.
Which he did. Nothing to report. His exact words were that he didn’t see anything that would require radiation, so off I go. Funny, I haven’t had anything that needed radiation in five years or so.
I’m about to beat the others to the punch and cut them loose as well. Both other cancer docs, as well as most of the entourage of doctors I’ve amassed in the last few years. I’ll keep the ones working on my current ailments, half of which where caused by therapy. But for the most part, I’ve had it with doctors, no matter how nice they are.
So what did we learn on this journey?
- Throat cancer is pretty curable. The therapy sucks though. It’s painful.
- After therapy, start eating as best you can, otherwise, you may lose the ability to swallow. That was happening to a guy I went through therapy with. It took him a year to get back to normal. Looking back, I’m thinking the stomach tube was a mistake. It becomes a crutch. I could swallow liquids just fine. No reason I couldn’t drink “Boost” as opposed to using a stomach tube.
- You will have collateral damage. I can’t swallow like I used to. I’ve had to learn to eat and drink differently, and deal with a chronic dry mouth and throat. I’ve spent a ton of time, pain, and money to fix it. It’s what it is. Thanks to chemo, some of my white cell counts are in the toilet. I’m thinking if I look at someone with Corona, I’ll get it. My neck is stiff, and I have to stretch constantly. Days I’m too busy, the pain can be eye opening.
Luckily, that one radiation doc was honest, and pretty much told me this would happen. It’s his line that named my former blog, now a tag. He did it when explaining the pain medication, and not to worry about addiction, since you need euphoria for that.
“And there’ll be no euphoria for you”
And there hasn’t been, even since.