In my previous post, I talked about being offered the opportunity to cut radiation short by three treatments, to try to minimize further radiation burns in my esophagus. I likened it to a deal with the devil: less radiation on my esophagus means potentially less pain over the next two weeks… but it also means less radiation on the cancer. Yesterday, when discussing the options with Dr. Lee, I said I wanted to continue with the last three radiation treatments.
There are a couple reasons I decided to continue. First, we’re only talking about three treatments, spread over almost a week because of the holiday and the weekend. Second, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have the last chemo (see below) and I didn’t want to end early on both treatments. Third, I was diagnosed with thrush AGAIN. I remembered when I had thrush a couple weeks ago, mistaking the symptoms for esophagitis, so it must be contributing to how I feel. If I can get rid of the thrush, I’ll be feeling better even with the esophagitis.
So I declined the devil’s deal and s of today, I have two radiation treatments left, on Monday and Tuesday.
Chemo, on the other hand, is definitely done. My white blood cell counts were too low last Thursday (chemo day). We tested again on Monday then a third time on Wednesday, but they were still too low. So my last chemo on Thursday, 12/10 turned out to be the last chemo I would have.
It sounds awesome to be able to focus on healing and getting my strength back. Both radiation and chemo are cumulative, and radiation keeps “cooking” a week after it ends. In fact, Dr. Lee said the esophagitis pain peaks the first week after treatments. So this Tuesday isn’t the end of the road… but it’s still a meaningful step in that direction!