Saturday, March 21, 2009
Relief on the way
Thirty down, three to go!
My sessions of radiation treatment in the Radiation and Oncology Center at Kaiser haven't worn me down to the point of crying "Uncle!" But they're getting close.
Whoever put the "treat" in the word "treatment" was a real wise guy.
At the end of each session, I just want to sleep. And I probably would, if there wasn't another cancer patient waiting outside the room to use the bed for his own treatment.
The cancer literature I've read say that some of the side effects of radiation treatment will go away after treatment ends, others may continue for a long time, and some will never go away.
I'm a bit irritated by that word "never." If it means that some of these side effects will follow me to the grave and hunker down for eternity, well, that's not the kind of afterlife I learned about in Sunday School.
At least I know that I'm not being treated with a placebo.
The newest side effect is dry, flaky skin, mainly around my neck. The doctor in the radiation unit told me that my case is pretty mild but gave me some packets of topical cream anyhow, and I picked up a jar of a healing ointment in the Kaiser pharmacy last night.
The next step in my treatment plan is my final session of chemotherapy on Monday morning. Then, at 5 o'clock on Monday, I'll resume radiation treatments followed by another session on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, instead of handing over my frog to the radiation tech to store with my ThermaSplint mask until my next session, I'll bring the frog home.
Together, we'll wait to see if these treatments succeed.
I don't expect my tongue to move with the agility or speed of a frog's, but if I can eat and talk with my tongue again, and avoid a recurrence of its swelling, I'll be thrilled.
And if the Rolling Stones' lawyers never find out that I'm using the band's logo in the heading for this blog, well, I'll consider myself one very fortunate fellow.