The Final Countdown

My treatment starts tomorrow.  Still can’t believe I have cancer!

I’ve had to look in the mirror a few times and actually tell myself I have it.

Why!  Why me!  How did I get it?  I can ask a thousand questions but none of them will help.  So reality sets in.   And I have to deal with it.

I have my special cream ready  R1 and R2.  R1 I apply directly after the radiation treatment each day – it is a cooling gel.  I let that soak in for 20 minutes then I apply R2- a sort of moisturising cream which I apply a few times a day.

r1r2-cream

My first radiation treatment was supposed to start at 7.10am tomorrow and the chemo treatment at 9.  I received a call from the scheduling lady today asking for the radiation treatment to be delayed to 3.15pm.  So I have resheduled the chemo treatment to 11.45.

Was looking forward to a relaxed romantic dinner with my boyfriend tonight.  He was going to cook for me and we were to share a bottle of wine.  (I would have just had a sip!) But sadly other priorities came up and the mood is not right. So it is a night which is not so relaxed and I feel I just want to sit down and cry.

Tomorrow is another day.  I have no doubt I will have my treatment and all will be fine in the universe.  I will live to tell the tale.  And hey, it will be one less treatment I will need to have.

So to all of you – have a glass of wine tonight in my honour and keep me in your throughts.

 

 

 

2 Sleeps

II is only 2 Sleeps till I start my treatment.  

I am very anxious.

Been reading up a lot about the treatment.  Michael Douglas had the same thing so I read up quite a bit about him and his treatment.  All articles suggest I will lose ALOT of weight in the coming 6 weeks and a big chance I end up with a feeding tube before the end.

Parts of my mouth still very sensitive.  lose stitches irritating me.  Having removed and not replaced the very back teeth has created little pockets at the back of my mouth – feel like a Chipmunk.

Would have preferred to start treatment feeling 100%.  

Counting the seconds till Wednesday.

Darling, Do I have spinach in my teeth?

The last week has seen me asking this question many times.

I keep feeling like I have something stuck inbetween my teeth but food is never the cuprit.  The culprit rather is the many stitches I still have.  They are starting to disolve and  I am more aware of them now that my mouth isnt as swollen anymore.

It is a little strange having stitches in places where no teeth were removed (front 6 upper and lower) but apparently it is all part of how they take your mouth apart to remove teeth.

I had another dental appointment today.  This time with the dental hygienist.  She gave my 12 original teeth a good cleaning and doesnt need to see me again until the end of the second week of my treatment.

They all seem happy with my recovery.

I still have a big bruise on the left side of my face – probably 4cm in size.  Swelling is minimal and discomfort is minimal.  Blew out a lot of blood yesterday from my sinuses.  Assume left over from the procedure 2 weeks ago. I finally have my smile back (and my dimples my beloved loves so much).  I can still feel some pulling if I excercise my mouth.

And finally I can open my mouth wide again.  This has required me being more disciplined when I eat as I am not allowed to use my back teeth at all.  I may only use my front teeth and palatte to eat.  But the reality is that the wider you can open your mouth, the more food you put in.  And it is difficult not using your back teeth when you have a mouth full off food.

Meal slection has not been that bad actualy and I have found foods that I like which need very little chewing:

My current diet consists of:

  • Poitjie (A South African favourite – like a stew) –  I can mush it all up
  • Rice
  • Potato – Mashed
  • Weetabix
  • Yogurt – I just love full fat yogurt with honey
  • Ice-cream
  • Salmon – My boyfriend makes the most amazing salmon with cottage cheese
  • Mild curry – meat shredded and the rest mushed with a fork
  • Custard
  • Omelette
  • Soups
  • Little puddings
  • And my favourite today – I managed to nibble on a soft hot cross bun

So yes, I am recovering well.  A week to go before I start my treatment.

 

More Bruises

Had to have another biopsy today to a lump / node in my Parotid gland.  Never thought I needed to know what that was.

This area also lit up on my PET scan.  So they seeing if they need to treat it as well or if it is just a benign lump of sorts.

Anyway….

Meant local anaesthetic to my right chin/neck area and them taking 3 samples with a needle guided by ultrasound technician.

Not painful thanks to anaesthetic but a little uncomfortable. 

Another bruise to show under a big plaster. 

Is my mouth compromised?

Feeling a bit better today.  My face is still black and blue.  My throat is sore.  I am very aware of the lump in my throat and can feel it all the time.

My lips are better but still very dry.  Been applying cream faithfully. 

Tired of the jaw ache and related sinus headache all the time.  Not in pain but the ache is constant and wearing on me.

Saw the Butcher yesterday.  He was very pleased with how my mouth was healing.   I was hoping to never see him again.  But he politely told me we would become best friends over the next 3-6 months.  I would be seeking his help with sores and ulcers in my mouth and throat. 

That got me thinking- it’s a week since my mouth surgery.   I can’t remember feeling good.  Will it heal in time for the radiation to just destroy it again?  Is this how I’m going to feel for the next 10 weeks?  NO – I’m going to feel worse I am reminded.  

Been watching a few YouTube videos about throat cancer.  Have started a useful links page and dropped links there.  Will tidy the page up when I have some time.

Back at the Butcher

Currently sitting at the Maxillofacial surgeons rooms for my first post op check up.

My face is still black and blue with quite a bit of yellow now as well. That combined with the scar on my neck makes it look like I have been in one hell of an accident.

My mouth still aches all over although I have no pain.  Just major discomfort.

Feeling much better today.  Just wish this constant headache would go away.

Was supposed to see the prosthodontics doc after but apparently he is off sick today  (phew! Didn’t think I was up to him poking and prodding inside my mouth as yet)

The Vascular Surgeon 2

I had the 3 lumps removed on the left hand side of my neck on the 17th August.

I was booked into hospital for a 3 day stay and was told that I would have to spend at least 1 night in high care due to the location of the lumps.  It was fairly serious.

I came out of theatre without any hiccups.  The operation was easy and I was now lump free.

Gosh I felt good.

I only spent 1 night in high care and went home the following day.  In fact I went straght to work.  I felt good and was in no pain.  Just a very ugly scar down my neck.

scar1

On my follow up appointment with the Vascular Surgeon, he informed me that the lumps were linked to my lymph nodes and that the results had come back as Benign.

I had cancer!

The biggest problem was that he had no idea where the main source of the cancer was and I was to be prepared for quite a few tests.

So I was booked for a CAT scan which came up with nothing.

I was then sent to see an ENT Specialist so he could do some investigation.  Apointments were made and I saw him about 2 weeks later.  More to follow

scarf1

(I now wear a scarf most of the time to hide my scar.  Not for my benefit but others do tend to stare a bit. )