Today marks the 1/3 point of my treatment and Doctors will all state that everyone will react differently to the treatment plan. No one person will have the same reaction but there is some commonality among patients with throat cancer.
I am at that point now that when I eat, I only can smell the food. My taste buds are fried from radiation. I may have some active taste buds but I really can’t tell. Some foods are more pungent than others and that enhances the taste some what, but as far as texture, it all feels the same. It is weird really, regardless of what I am eating, everything has little to no taste. But the smell, oh my glasses, it is over whelming and so I just use my imagination so I can stomach the food.
My mouth is now dry like cotton mouth. Regardless of how much water I drink, my mouth dries up. That is the saliva glands going now. But the doctors told me this will happen eventually and well that date is now. Luckily, I have a prescription for Cephasol and that helps with the dry mouth. And this dry mouth is really bad. Folks in the military know about the MRE Cracker challenge. The challenge is simple, eat the cracker package, which is 8 crackers, under 2 minutes without the aid of water. Some can do it, others can not. For me, if I just take one normal cracker, it sucks up whatever saliva I may have and I can’t even swallow unless I drink some water.
The radiation hasn’t affected my skin yet. The doctor gave me some lotion to apply daily to help, so we will see. But other than that, my skin is the same. I was told that eventually, the skin area that is getting radiation will get hard like leather. Yikes! Also, I still haven’t loss any hair yet. I was told I may lose some facial hair due to radiation but the chemo shouldn’t affect my hair.
I still get fatigued. That comes and goes when ever it wants to. I have no control. It doesn’t matter if I sleep more or less, when the body is tired and fatigued you will know it. The fatigue is due to both chemo and radiation. Again, my doctors have told me that when I get close to my next chemo appointment, my body is recovering, and then it’s back down. So I am on track which is good news.
So in the meantime, I will continue to eat smaller meals throughout the day. The doctor isn’t concern about my diabetes but I do check my blood sugars. Right now I am averaging around 130 each morning. Still high, but I am ok with that. I am now using my feeding tube to help supplement my diet which is ok. I am still able to drink water which is just as important.
I hope this information is helpful to those who are fighting cancer or knows someone who is. It is not an easy road, but it is possible to win the fight, to finish the race, to be victorious!