My fourth treatment was last Friday and even though the first couple weeks are supposed to be uneventful, I’m definitely noticing change. I’m taking it as a good sign, since it means my body is responding to the radiation quickly.
The first change I mentioned last post: the pain in my left upper jaw and at the back of my throat is gone. That’s still true, and a huge relief!
The other changes involve a little less saliva, a subtle burning sensation in my throat, and a change in my sense of taste. It’s not that food tastes bad… it just tastes weird. It’s almost like a permanent sweet taste in my mouth. The baking soda and salt gargle recommended by the doctor really works though. It seems to reset my mouth back to a neutral state.
I struggled a bit more with nausea. It wasn’t overwhelming–more like a feeling of motion sickness. I took the medicine regularly and eventually called the nurse to report the symptom (which you are supposed to do, if the medication doesn’t stop it). We’re trying some new medication next week, and I’m also going to stop by on Monday to see if they can fill out the paperwork for a medical marijuana card. It’s supposed to help a lot with the nausea and I know it’s important to maintain nutrition and hydration.
I’ve also been really tired, which I knew to expect. I also know that light exercise helps, but I had a bit of a one-two punch when I started having a lot of pain at my PEG tube site. I saw the gastroenterologist on Friday, and he prescribed some antibiotics since he thinks I might have a slight infection.
That reads like a long list of woes, but I’m actually doing well! I’m glad to be in treatment and happy to be 11% done with radiation and 14% done with chemo! Hopefully I can do a better job of keeping up with the blog next week, now that I’m getting used to the patterns and effects of treatment.