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.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

4 Weeks Post Treatment

November 2, 2006 - Today I'm four weeks out from the end of treatment. Life is starting to get back to normal. I thought that I would really be focusing on the fact that I'm no longer doing anything to actively fight this disease but that hasn't really been the case. Part of me feels like this is now behind me. Do I now refer to myself as having had cancer? Am I a cancer survivor? Seems a bit premature for that but I'm no longer a cancer patient and I'd like to think that I no longer have the disease so I guess I'm in a sort of limbo. I'm sure things will be much clearer in about 7 weeks when I have my first follow up PET scan.

It occured to me this week that it's only been 4 months since my initial diagnosis. 4 months! I can hardly believe how much has transpired during that short amount of time. How much has changed. If I survive this, I owe it to the timeliness and sense of urgency expressed by all of my doctors. Of course, I'd like to think that my proactiveness and insistence had something to do with it as well. I read stories from people who spend 4 months just waiting for their treatment to start once they've been diagnosed! Please, if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, do not be a passive participant. If your doctors are not working on your timetable, find other doctors! This is your life and as far as I'm concerned, that is worth suspending the notion that doctors are all-knowing and that whatever they say must be accepted as gospel. You need to call the shots in terms of when, how and by whom you are treated. Of course, that requires a tremendous amount of research on the particulars of your disease as well as treatment options and facilities.

As for me, I'm feeling much better physically. Taste is still very much an issue but I think I detect the early stages of its return. I have begun to supplement my supplements with actual food. Green beans, corn, plain pasta... generally things that are very moist are OK and have some normalcy in terms of flavor. Certain fruit juices now have a tartness to them that they didn't before and the first couple of sips are even slightly sweet. I just hope that by Thanksgiving, I'll be able to eat a relatively normal meal.

The best news of the week? The Terps beat Florida State and are bowl eligible! WOO HOO! Hopefully I'll be spending New Years Eve at a football game this year!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cancer Patient? Cancer Survivor?

How about Cancer Fighter?

That's how I see you. Whether it was during the diagnostic phase, treatment phase or recovery phase - you have held a consistent position - you were going to fight with all your being.

I know your strong will. As your physical strength grows you will continue to fight against cancer. It could be the encouragement for people to take control of their health; the continuence of your blog; or new activities you have yet to venture upon.

So keep fighting, my friend.

-Bob

6:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was that you quoted in the 11/5 Washington Post story about voting in Virginia?

10:27 PM

 
Blogger FamnBlan said...

How about Living Strong?? I think Lance says it best!
Traci

10:11 AM

 
Anonymous Greg said...

Don't look now but MD is not only bowl eligible but they just beat Miami. The game just ended and I thought I'd drop you a quick note. I'm glad to hear that things are improving for you. We think of you often and look forward to hearing more good news going forward.

Greg, Kris, Madison, Coleman and Alex.

7:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael,

I just wanted to say hi and that I'm glad things seem to be looking up. I admire your proactiveness and tenacity to stay strong. Keep fighting!

- Carolyn

5:44 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home