It's been 10 years since I was diagnosed with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma... cancer. I started this blog to share the many emotions, fears, experiences and, hopefully, triumphs that I will face throughout this journey. I have two goals for this blog, 1. To gain some degree of personal therapeutic benefit and, 2. To help others who may one day face a similar struggle by detailing the process of diagnosis, treatment and recovery so that they may know what to expect.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Number 20

September 13, 2006 - Today was radiation treatment #20 meaning I have completed 4 full weeks with 3 to go. It feels good to be past the half way mark. I didn't know what to expect going into this but I'm sure I expected it to be worse than it has been to this point. I know I have 3 weeks to go and that the effects are cumulative so I don't want to jinx myself just yet.

Today is Wednesday or the day following my Erbitux treatment which I like to refer to as "hiccup day." They are quite annoying and they're not like normal hiccups that go away after a couple of minutes. They last for up to 15-20 minutes at a time and can be rather violent. I'm afraid I might throw my back out. To be clear, the hiccups aren't caused by the Erbitux but by the Decadron (steroid) that they give me prior to the Erbitux. In addition to Decadron, I'm given Benadryl and Zantac. I hate the Benadryl because it knocks me out. I wasn't going to go in for the Erbitux yesterday because I thought it had been moved to Thursdays. But, thanks to a scheduling snafu, I found myself racing over there at 4:00pm to get it before they closed for the day. You see, they mix the Erbitux the day of the treatment and it doesn't have a shelf life so if they don't administer it that day, they literally have to flush $9,000 down the drain.

I know I complain about this incessantly but the taste thing is just wearing on me. I ate some egg drop soup this evening that tasted like dishwashing detergent (or so I would guess.) I've started to have, and this is not a joke, dreams about food. When I was 16, I worked at a pizza joint and every night, we'd call other restaurants in the area to trade food. There was a Burger King right next to us and in exchange for a few pies, they'd bring over bags upon bags of everything they sold. Good lord did I love trading with BK. So, I had this dream about sitting in the storage room with my co-workers just mealing on Whoppers, chicken sandwiches, fries and shakes until I could barely walk. It's funny, I now worry about how I'm going to consume 2500 calories in a day when back then, I could throw down two or three times that in one sitting. The biggest problem here is that I'm losing weight that I can't afford to lose. I'm afraid to weigh myself at home and I've resulted to tricks each week at the doctor's office to keep them off my back. According to their measurements, I've only lost 2 pounds or so which they are happy with. The reality is I'm probably closer to 8-10 pounds lost at this point. I've managed to wear heavier clothes each week at weigh in and for this last one, I snuck my wallet and PDA onto the scale with me. Next week I'm going to have to shove bricks in my pants.


Blogger FamnBlan said...

Congrats on the 4 week mark...with only 3 to go. You can do this!!!! Ahh who wouldn't love to throw back a few Whoppers and fries! Sorry that food takes like dishwashing you think if you had some dishwashing soap it would taste like egg drop soup? Just trying to make you laugh on this dreary Thursday. At least its almost football time!!
Hang in there. Traci

12:05 PM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home