Sunday, January 31, 2010


  Another peaceful day right up until now. I got a laxative pill hung in one of the holes or whatever they get stuck in, in my throat. Normally I can pull them up by taking a large swallow of water and pulling it back up... not this time. It's still stuck there even as I type this. Burn a bit. I managed to get rid of dinner though, lol.  This one is in the right side where the tumor was. Funny how you get use to this.

  The rash is still drying up slowly. I haven't taken anymore of the multivitamin, must have been it. I did notice the CTCL is back on my left foot. I was kinda hoping that it would give me a break for a little longer... guess not.

  Barring right now, the pain is managed by the patch quite well which I hope to begin the decent to get rid of when we meet with Panella this Friday. I'm going after another drink to the Chemo Hut sometime this week... maybe two and hopefully I will be dehydrated good enough by then.

  Denise and I were talking and realized that I haven't had a B-12 shot in over a month, could explain the fatigue. This is the longest I have went without one in over 17 years. That should also help my healing.

  Other than inside swelling, my neck looks more like a tan a little each day. I haven't tried a soft drink (oxymoron) today but I will probably try one tomorrow.

  Still a good day again today, I have had a few together now. Makes all the pain worth it. Now if that pill would either come up or dissolve already.  


Saturday, January 30, 2010


Pretty event less day. Beautiful snow. I woke up at 4am, went back to bed and got back up at 7am, went back again to bed and slept until 11:30am. I still stay fatigued a lot. I still have the numbness in my hands and feet but that ain't too bad. The breaking out seems to slowly reverting back and healing. I'm guessing and thinking that kimber is correct on the vitamins.

  These nervous episodes and muscle spasms and jerks peaked out today and out of 4 attacks, I ended up 3 times taking the Lorazapan. One I just rode out to see where it went. No physical pain is involved in these.

  The outside of my throat is just dark now, no lesions left open. Denise says it looks as though I will have no scars. The inside however is still sore not not like it was. Swallowing is still an effort but it gets a little easier each day. When I take a sip of liquid I use two swallows then prepare for residue to go the wrong way and cough it up.

  I actually ate a whole breakfast this morning... sorta. I did eat a whole Hardees Portibello Mushroom Melt burger and about 5 fries! I ate a piece of birthday cake, nobody's birthday, I bought a small one on our cookie raid a few days ago, lol. I get these cravings for something sweet which is unusual.

  There are times when my mid throat gets dry, not dry enough to crack open like it was, but too dry to swallow anything. My saliva glands are working in my mouth but maybe they aren't up to what they should be yet. I still carry a water with me for the dry episodes. Right now I'm drinking Pedalite and it really isn't that bad. Kind of like weak lemonade. I have one flavored but I think it is fruit flavor so that one scares me. I tested again today, this time with Coke. Still not able to tolerate carbonated beverages. Actually... that is a good thing.

  I ventured outside a few times today, never for very long. I can't wait until spring gets here and maybe I can go outside more and build back my strength. It gets a little embarrassing having toget your kids to open your drinks, lol.

  I'm still keeping two Humidifiers running. I think they make a difference. All in all... another good day. Hopefully this trend will continue.  

Friday, January 29, 2010


  It has been a good day today despite the snow. Other than a little soreness in my throat, especially the right side, it's been great. Annie's new laptop came in and she loves it.

  Still broke out all over just as bad as yesterday so I've taken Bendryl. Still a bit of trouble with things going in and out, but I'm getting there. Now if it would get warm and pretty I could maybe walk around and gain back some strength. The numbness in the hands a feet hasn't improved, not sure what the cause was. These muscle jerks and a feeling like I'm exploding inside (Nerve wise) are not painful but get kind of freaky. I take Lorazapan and they fade away. Sometimes I go a day or two and nothing. Lately it is at least once a day. Strange.  

  Days like this one make it worth it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Slept on and off last night but finally stayed up at 7am. I drove to Hardees and got a sausage, egg, cheese biscuit, then stopped by the office to set mom's Garmin. Browsed around on the web, and Ebay.

  I'm broke out again on my legs, ankles, and arms... 2 days now. What's changed. Sipped Mt Dew last two days, changed underarm deodorant, starting taking a multi-vitamin liquid. It has to be one of the three I'm thinking.

  I'm having a hard time getting the pain patch to stay on. We taped it to my arm.  I can't wait for these things to come off.

I walked today around outside and up to mom's. Slowly I am getting more steady on my feet and winded.

We've kept lotion on my neck using the Radiation Cream and Blue-Emu oil. The lesions are seemly healing overnight... well, fast anyway.

  Today has been a good day for a change, maybe it's turning around. I will wait due to weather until either Monday or Tuesday before heading back to the Chemo Hut.     

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


  We went again to the Chemo Hut and got 2 more bags installed, lol. Also got my prescription of Lorazapan refilled. It took quite a while to do and while it is helping I still look and feel like I need several more to get back caught up.

  We ended up beside a guy and his wife (breast cancer) and I kept looking at him. Finally I said I thought I knew him, turns out I did. 15 years ago I delivered to where he worked at 600 Sulpher Springs Road. Small world. Didn't remember his name but I never forget a face. We chatted on and off all day long, the times I was awake. This was her second dose of Chemo and so far she has been hospitalized twice. Once for her port which she no longer has and once for dehydration. They've had a rough go at it so far. I'd like to go back Friday but with the coming weather I'll shoot for next week.

  I'm broke out tonight from something, but not sure what. Been a bit sleepy all day and draggy. Maybe from staying up coughing all night last night. More Oregano came up in my saliva and I still taste and feel more left. Tomorrow I sleep late. Tonight was change patch time again. I can't wait until I can get off these patches.

  Lots of sneezing going on. Denise dressed my neck tonight and the three lesions in my neck are healing up. maybe this means that the effects of last weeks radiation is wearing off. I tested Mt Dew last night unsuccessfully and tonight with a little more success. That will be a definite test of how it's going, of course I will need to use fresh.

 This morning I used 15 mg of Morphine prior to eating breakfast but tonight I used nothing for supper. A bit more painful than with, but not all that much painful. I'm not about to say turning the corner yet, last time I done that I jinxed myself, lol.

  The thoughts and worries of did they get the cancer in the lymph node out still hunts me. Perhaps as I feel better I will not worry as much.    

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


  Here we are not quite a week out of Radiation. Inside, my throat is still swelling and outside now 3 places have became lesions on the right side. No lesions on the left side so far. The pain is steady but seems somewhat to be decreasing in some ways. I stay sick feeling at my stomach and when I eat I get sicker, but never throw up. Instead, the feeling subsides after a few minutes when I eat. there is still the horrid taste in my mouth and I'm guess that it is the Oregano Denise sprinkled on last nights food. The swelling inside has caused
a refereed pain in my left ear, more discomfort than pain actually. That is weird since the tumor was on and caused pain in the right ear, and much more intense.
  Denise got my metaprol filled and my Miracle Mouth Wash. My BP stays good but my heart rate gets a bit out of hand. The Lorazapan seems to curb one of the other weird side effects, my nerves seems to go out of whack and I begin to shake, muscles eventually twitch snd it feels like I'm going to burst inside.  This came along with my right foot towards the end feels swelled and numb. the other foot just tingles like it is in a deep sleep as does both my hands. This started after the last Chemo and it still continues. No pain though.

  I woke up at 5am this morning, brushed my teeth and began prepping the bathroom for a bath? I sat down and answered email and then it hit me... where was I going? lol. So I went back to bed and slept until 8am. We will mark that down as a brain fart.
Me, William, and Charlie all went for breakfast this morning. That was a first that I remember and very enjoyable. Then I took off to town, lol. Yea, I'm not suppose to drive yet but I just had to. I took some pictures and placed Charlie and mom's store online at Craigslist. 

  Tomorrow we go back for another drink, lol. I will ask for 2 bags again tomorrow.  I will also ask for some more Lorazapan. Maybe soon it will get better. It seems to be the only thing that curbs those spells without knocking me out or drugging me out. 

  I stayed tired today, even took a brief nap today. Other than that I've rested and played on the computer.  


Monday, January 25, 2010


  Charlie and I headed out to UT today for a drink, lol. I learned something today though... call Ruth first. The ladies still accommodated us even though I had not called ahead, my bad. Er got there about 8am and we were brought back about 8:30am, if had I have called before it would have been faster. Weather permitting we are going back Wednesday. I plan on doing this for a few weeks until I can get back online. I'm back up to 190.5 tonight!. They gave me 2 bags of fluids plus something for my stomach, I declined the Lorazapan. I am however going to ask him for some pills in these though. I get these shakes and twitches and a weird feeling inside, like I'm breaking out of something, sorta of nervous and they help that. It doesn't always happen but occasionally it does. That is the only one of all this stuff I'd like to keep. I'm not sure if it is muscles or nerves, but they are all pretty much involuntary. These attacks have lessened somewhat but still continue. I've also developed referred pain to my left ear... strange?

  We stopped back at Shoneys where I bought lunch, something that was suppose to have been done last Thursday. Charlie wasn't fond of me buying it, but I talked him into it. Man do I feel much better but I am running out of energy. I know it's only a temporary energy until I get my body straightened out. Most of my fatigue came from running Annie to Wal-Mart for a laptop, she didn't find the one she wanted and if it had been there, it wasn't worth it. We came home and got her a decent one which she said she thought was too much. So we arranged a payment plan at her insistence. No money will be exchanged, but here is what will. That she pursue her dream (currently to be a nurse) but whatever she so chooses as long as she always applies herself. That she set no limits or boundaries on her abilities.  The interest is that she be a good and decent person, no matter what she selects. That she makes a positive difference in the world and remains independent upon other while knowing that sometimes she must be dependent and that she allows those who need to be dependent upon her do so. That she never stops chasing her dreams, while keeping her feet firmly planted.

  Dad fell in the shower today and messed himself up. His skin was too thin to sew up son they lapped it over and bandaged it. He didn't break any bones though. At 86, I was worried.

  We saw the lady from the Radiation room. Charlie spotter her and she came to where I was. He told her that I had been very worried about her since she had taken a break. I think her name starts with "D", but not sure. If I understood her correctly she said that the amount of weight she has lost and the disfigurement on the left side of her face meant that they would have to make another mask... her's no longer fits. She said they were looking into an alternate therapy. This lady smiles every time you see her and has been so helpful to inform all of us what to use like biotene. Bless her heart, she is always alone. She is such a beam of brightness yet in a very darkened time. I would like to ask that those of you that read this blog say a prayer for her every night when you go to bed. P.U.S.H.  Pray Until Something Happens.

  Annie and me went computer shopping tonight, came back, and ordered online, lol. She wants to be a nurse. Despite the weather, it has been a wonderful day.  I don't think she expected to get one this nice, she was saving her money to get one and this one was a tad outta her reach, it ain't now, lol.

  Charlie talked like we might go too Shoneys again tomorrow. A little Morphine to swallow and I'm all for it, lol. That will make up for the herb or whatever that was Denise though would look and taste good sprinkled over the mack & meat. They quickly filled the holes inside my throat and ended that meal. During these treatments, presentation has nothing to do with eating, lol. It all tastes funny or bad but the trick is not making it hurt.   

Sunday, January 24, 2010


  Funny, I thought when the treatment were over it would start to get better. I knew that the radiation effects would take place this week from last week and that my throat would be bad. I also knew that what damage has been done would not be undone overnight, I just didn't think it would continue to be this hard.

  Charlie and me are going to UT tomorrow and get some more IV fluids, I'm hitting them up for a couple of bags, lol. They did say I could come when I needed to, so I will if Charlie can take me go there at least twice this week, maybe three times. I weighed tonight and my weight is 187 lbs. That is about what I weighed in High School over 30 years ago.

  It's funny, the pain killers constipate and dehydrate me yet without them the soreness in my throat will not allow me to eat. I even tried Ensure and the Sodium content is like drinking fire. I've drank more Pedialite and that seems to help somewhat, just not enough. Go figure, lol. I can set up for a while but I'm still too weak to stay up for long periods. My goal tonight is to have enough strength to walk to the truck tomorrow and to walk into the Chemo Hut on my own power. While that may not sound like much right now it looks like a mountain. So that I could eat breakfast today I gave in for the first time since Friday and took 1/2 a dose of liquid Morphine and tonight I'm doing the same so I can eat.  I've managed to get almost 2 eggs and most of a piece of sausage and part of 2 pieces of toast along with a few bites of Oatmeal (they get stuck in the holes in my throat), a pudding, and I guess that is all. I thought there was something else but I guess not. I am about to attempt a crescent roll, piece of hamburger meat with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes. Think I got full just typing that in, lol.   

  I should have read more on the blogs, what few I found on this and asked more questions up front. While I am glad I have fought, if this were placed in front of me and they told me I would have to redo it, I'm not too sure that I could or even would. The only solstice I've had today was mom bringing me in a BPO to do that I asked her for. Usually I'd have them done in an hour or two, this took a few hours. It sure was fun to do something other than lay and set all day. Sometimes I wish I could amuse myself with TV but other than a few shows I can't. I have looked through a seed catalog even though I know I can't do my garden this year. I've almost got me an order up and if nothing else I'll freeze them and use them next year... or talk Denise and Megan into growing them, lol. Sometime during the summer I should be able to work in it and if nothing else watch it grow. Then again, I'll be home alone during the day and I can sneak out and play in it, lol.


I got about 1/4th of it eat and I am about to bust. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Mask

Megan took pictures of my Mask she posted on her blog. Remember that when this cast was molded that I was 231 lbs, now I am 190 lbs. And the way that you are positioned on the flat table with the head support that it is much tighter than this looks now.

Since these blogs change fast I'll post a few pictures up here. When you finish you have the option to keep your mask... I kept mine and I'm going to mount it on the wall. I think I've earned it.


Other Throat Radiation sites

Here are a few I ran across tonight.


Since my recent fall I guess I've slept enough or passed out enough for two people. Actually through this whole thing I've slept a lot. Tonight I couldn't sleep a lot so I read up a researched some of what was diagnosed that led to the last two days events as well as the last week or so. I found a lot of info out there but perhaps this page, even though there are a lot of dead links on it was the most informative written in layman's terms. This has helped me to understand what went wrong, or should I say, where I went wrong. Maybe it will help someone avoid what I done.

This is why it is important to go in and get hydrated in the Chemo Hut a lot more frequently than I did. Notice the constipation is also mentioned as well as the losing consciousness, weakness, and dizziness.

Friday, January 22, 2010

For My daughters. Misty, Annie, & Megan

For my girls:

1-22-10 today's events

  I spent last night in and out but building up strength. This morning Bill and Charlie came back here when it was time to leave and helped me get to Denise's car. On the way down after a few sips of water I would throw up (but uncontrollably), bile. I had to sip the water to keep my throat from cracking where it was so dry, so it was one of those catch 21 things. Charlie followed us down to UT. The parking lot was full so Denise dropped me off at the elevators and helped me to the bench. After she parked the car she went to Panella's and borrowed a wheelchair and came and got me. Ruth got her one extremely quick. I had always turned down a wheelchair, even when I was admitted so I guess that must have set off some alarms.

  I had a tad more strength and balance but not enough to make it. They drew blood work but we never got the results, they were extremely busy in the Chemo Hut today. They took us back into a small room close to a bathroom that only had 2 chairs for patients and 2 for company. Ruth had already started an IV and was running fluid and some kind of medicine to settle my stomach. When it came time for the second bag of fluid they brought a needle in with some kind of new drug that started with an R that was a laxative type shot given sub-Q. In about 20 minutes I went to the bathroom. I noticed by the end of the 1st bag of fluid that my thick secretions had actually thinned and I began making saliva a little. By the second bag, I had real saliva.

  Panella sent me to X-Ray and they shot a couple on my abdomen. It showed no blockage but still some poop way up high in my intestines. By tonight my saliva is thickening. The first time I went prepared to stay and offered no resistance to staying, but they sent me home. He wrote a script for some kind of laxative but also told me tonight to get some kind of liquid laxative to drink. It comes in Lemon flavor and after just two sips I was pretty much in tears from the pain. Shame though, it did work a little with just two sips. It must be acidic and anything acidic is not doable for a throat cancer patient who's throat is burnt up from radiation.

  We're trying to figure out what to eat. It can't be too small or it gets stuck in the sores inside my throat. Too large and it can get stuck due to the swelling inside. Too stringy and it stands a chance of ending up choking from the compromised gag reflex. Needs to be easily digestible and soft. So far I've ate three puddings.

  Here is a bit of information that we were told today that would have come in handy earlier. A bowel movement should be everyday when taking chemo, radiation, especially with all the meds. How much information have we been told AFTER the fact or from other patients. Not only would it be nice to be told up front but it might also be nice to be handed a sheet with a few facts and possibilities because when you are told you have cancer, will be taking chemo and/or radiation, you can not comprehend all that is hitting you at once. I think I read the average human retains about 25% of verbal information on the average. Now imagine the horror, fear, and shock and try and get a decent factor out of that. Even with at least two other people in there, the odds aren't good because more than likely the people accompanying the afflicted are emotionally attached. Little stuff like using lotions or mouth sprays to help the moisture in the mouth, not eating with metal after Taxotere, all this came from other patients. Why? OK, so maybe not everybody has this happen but as long as there is the possibility, and you hear it from many patients, why not pass along the information? Why not have a printed sheet so they can reflect back when the shock factor is lower? At the least they will be informed and if they escape these things they are better off, but I haven't spoken to even one that has escaped these things yet.


This has to be short as I've not enough strength to write.

  My last radiation treatment was today and charlie and I were tickled. We  were headed to Shoneys to eat when I suddenly felt the need to poop, I decided to wait until we got there. Shortly afterward I became dizzy and within minutes I had to vomit. Charlie pulled to the side of the road. We done this at least 4 times. I either lost consciousness or memory, the next thing I remember was pulling down my driveway.

  I got out and headed for the fence to hold onto, Charlie went to the back and got my mask and certificate. As I entered the gate I thought I could make it to the Oak tree, then the back porch rails. I didn't. I made maybe 2 steps and fell over into the small rock garden. Charlie helped me up and pretty much carried me into the house. I made it to the couch and Charlie got me a waste basket and I continued to through up yellow and green looking liquid. That went on for hours. It was dry heaves until something that felt like it came from deep inside came out. Again I either lost consciousness or something on and off.

  I asked Denise for 2 laxatives which causes me to throw up several times and it was greenish. Denise gave me two enemas later on which produced about 2 cups of poop, some blood tinged.  We called Dr Panella which said I could either go to the ER or wait until my appointment tomorrow. I chose to wait. Dr Panella thinks that my blood pressure had dropped and not to take any more blood pressure medicine until we see him. We've checked my blood pressure several times and it runs about 139/89.

  It's now 5am and I managed to walk to the bathroom by myself for the first time. I decided to write this entry before laying back down. This is the first time I've been able to sit up in almost 24 hours. My throat is killing me but I'm afraid to take any pain meds. Charlie is coming back here this morning to help me to the car, between him and Denise I should be able to get to the car.     

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


  Today went well, very quickly. I had taken 20 mg of Morphine about 2 hours prior which kinda worried me if I had to much with the cocktail in my system. Charlie and me stopped by Shoney's again and ate afterward, the Morphine really paid off there. I ate a whole plate full of stuff. When we got back though it was all over. I dressed my neck and attempted to get on the computer and boom, I was exhausted and thought I'd lay down a bit. I slept until 11:30am when Denise called.

  Everything was out of my system and I went by the office for the first time in a long time. I was headed for Morristown to order a garage door when the break through pain hit, so I headed back home. I brought a gift that Al and Carol had dropped off at the office and some beautiful Tulips a lady left for me. I put them in the Sunroom and maybe this weekend I'll re-pot them. Goofed off and measured for a new garage.

  Later tonight, I had stayed on the phone and think I talked too much today, I started bleeding in my throat. It's not a lot of blood though but I don't remember bleeding inside even from the first time. I've increased the dosage of Morphine to 20 mg again. It doesn't stop the pain but I hopefully will back it down enough for some sleep tonight. I keep telling myself... just 1 more time, lol. Tomorrow I graduate!

  My outside has stayed a bit better than it was last time but the inside is the bad part. Denise said she saw some puss like bumps formed in some of the locations where the beam is focused. I'm a bit worried about what this will look like next week, that is when what was done this week takes full effect. Even though my throat feels like it's closing off I've never heard of it actually doing that from radiation. I run every once and a while to the Sunroom to breath some Oxygen, seems to make me not feel as much like I'm smothering.

  Pain aside, the best way to explain the way my throat feels would be like squeezing one end of a straw almost shut and trying to breathe through it. I weigh in tonight at 193.5 lbs. Good thing I held my weight and avoided a feeding tube. That is after a big breakfast, 2 bowls of cereal, a nice dinner. Drinking cold water is like fire inside and very painful, room temperature feels better but I'm hoping that the coldness will take some of the swelling down a bit. Oddly enough tonight I'm not freezing. Other than an upset stomach the Morphine hasn't had none of the bad side effects as it did the last time.

  We saw a man that we've seldom seen this morning. He is a thin, tall man in what appears to be his 60s. He told me how much he weighed, I forget now, but he has lost even more than me. He has i think something like 7 more to go. His neck is completely black. Although nice, he wasn't very pleased with his treatments and how they had went. The man and his wife (he goes before me) has prostrate cancer. His wife said that after the machine tore up either Monday or Tuesday (it's stayed tore up this week) that he has a burnt black ban around his mid section and another spot, according to his wife. While he remains in good humor, his wife said he was in excruciating pain from the burn. The others that were missing are still missing and still on break. I pray they are doing good. The lady that has throat and mouth cancer we pretty much know that her white blood cells dropped. The guy with the beard didn't show again today. The young man with the two small children... we have no clue.

  Just ONE more, that is what I think about tonight. Just One more. I know that this will continue for a week, maybe two, but then it should get better. Friday we meet with Dr Panella. I pray we get good news. I may, if Denise's time will allow, get another IV when we go. I've drank a lot of water but the hydration through the IV makes me feel so much better. I look around at all the things I need to fix, all the things I need to do and hope that by getting them done I can regain some of my strength back. Funny, I got that flat belly I've always wanted but it came without the rough looking 6 pack muscles, lol.

  For my friends I've made that are still going through this, should we not see each other again: 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


  Just two more to go! There were a lot of new faces in radiation today as students were there. They were all nice and chipper.  The ones that have had to take a break still aren't back, I pray they are all ok.

  I'm down to two small meals now and I think I have it down just how to do it. Oral balance biotene and the spray biotene, Lidocane, and some Morphine. That usually allows me a slow, soft eat... just have to watch getting choked.

  After treatment today I met with Dr Green. He looked in my throat and on the outside of my throat. He said that if I weren't as close as I am that he would recommend taking a break, but since I was this close it was my decision. I told him I needed 1 Valium (part of the cocktail) to complete Thursday's treatment. He prescribed me 2. Those are definitely not my favorite but they chill me out and eventually knock me out, lol.  With just 2 treatments left more I'm going for it.

  After getting choked on a pill this morning, seems like it took miles to get it to release, and then again tonight, I'm going back to the Liquid Morphine. Funny how pain can overcome fear. I'm still doing the Miracle Mouthwash twice a day.  Me and Charlie hit Shoney's breakfast bar again. That has become a staple. That will be the only thing I'll miss when this stuff is over, the talks and eating with Charlie.

  Denise has kept the maiderm on my neck pretty constant and I am running 2 cool mist humidifiers and 1 warm mist humidifier. Tonight before bed I will take the liquid Morphine, 20 mg so I can get some sleep. That is becoming a rare item. I sleep until I feel the pain in my mouth and throat from the dryness and cracking, wake up and use the biotene spray and oral balance and attempt to go back to sleep. When that fails I resort to the liquid Morphine. That will usually buy me at least a couple of hours.

  The swelling inside has left ear referred pain, odd, it was the right, but nowhere near the extent of the right. Then again, I am wearing a pain patch.

  I went to start my car today and the battery was dead so I decided to once again drive to Sears, bought a new battery and then it started, lol. I went to Lowes, TSC, a couple of car parts places, right up until I got tired and came home. It was nice to get out. Funny thing was, the cheapest vehicle we have had to boost my everyday car, lol. We looked once again at Denise's Mountaineer, it overheated again. Watched some American Idol and now it's bed time.

  Come Friday when Denise and me go to see Dr. Panella, hopefully I can say I am done with radiation.  

Monday, January 18, 2010


  Well after another laxative I think I'm cleaned out. Just how much weight this and the soreness of my throat has cost me we will find out tomorrow, when I see Dr Green.

  Yesterday's subject wasn't too pleasant to write about and probably not too pleasant to read either, but it had to be wrote to be honest. One pain pills you will get constipated and or impacted if you do not watch out. I learned this when I had my shoulder surgery and that was one reason I avoided pain pills as quick as I could. I should have continued to monitor myself during this but I slipped up and didn't continue to monitor as closely. 

  I have only three treatments left but it is unclear if I can do them. Between the ones of us in the waiting room we know know that the ones missing are on "vacation" again to heal up. The lady with mouth and throat cancer had another chemo and between that and radiation her white blood cell count bottomed, like mine did a while back. She and the others are in my prayers again tonight.

   My inside of my throat is still cracking open due to the lack of saliva and swallowing is all but impossible from the swelling. Drinking cold water or tea is excruciating but then again I have always heard that cold takes the swelling down. I do however drink at room temperature frequently to try and keep hydrated. I'm tempted to ask for another IV.

  The skin is already sloughing off on the phone when I talk on it... nasty. We've used the radiation cream religiously but it seems not enough. The left side of my throat is the worse, it has even caused pain in the left ear which I know from the tumor swelling, pain radiates to the ear because of the nerve in there close that the swelling outs pressure on. I tried the Sore Throat Spray that I used before I knew I had cancer, don't even think of doing that, lol.

  My gag reflexes have diminished to once again getting choked on my own spit, what little I have of it. The saliva is extremely thick and so I keep, as I always have, an empty water bottle to spit in. This time it has a greenish tinge, not sure what that means if anything. This stuff is so think you can't see through it.

  On a positive note, I have had to shave my sideburns twice now, could probably stand another right now, lol. They are 100% correct on my beard though, the hair follicles are burnt out so I will never be able to grow a beard again. Of course that also means not having to shave either, lol.

   I watered the plants in the Sunroom today and moved a couple of the banana plants that weren't ding so well around. While I was out there I took a few breaths of oxygen from the tank I brought back here from the old pet store I had. Physically it may or may not help, but mentally it does. I looked at the tail lights that Bill wired up for me yesterday on Big Ugly, he done a good job. Other than that though, I've slept. That could have been in part the Morphine. Funny how enough pain will get you over your fears.

  Being this close to done I hope Green will allow me to finish and maybe give me some tips on breathing and swallowing. I know from what I was told that what they do today continues to work for one to two weeks later, so I maybe in trouble. When I first started this blog I had hoped to be able to write all good stuff and for it to have a happy ending, I'm still hopeful of the happy ending.   

Sunday, January 17, 2010

1-16-17 - 10

  I'm trying to tell this and at the same time be tactful and not gross. This will be hard to do.

  For the last few days I've been hurting in my back and hip area. Saturday we headed out to a man who was suppose to have a 16 ft garage door for sale. We got there and he didn't have it. We went to Sams and bought some supplies and from there went to Shoney's. It was getting late by then and we come on home. All the while I kept this pain in y back and hips that I had for the last few days.

I felt the need to use the bathroom but again to no avail only this time unbelievable pain and pressure set in. I had taken some things that were suppose to make your bowels move with no results, so I tried them again. Denise suggested a suppository but I was so impacted it would not go in. By now I was bleeding out my rear end and in some bad pain plus sick at my stomach. The pressure had built so great that setting up was painful.

  There was enough pain that I overcame my fear old the Morphine and took some. I manually dug out what I could, a slow process but it seemed to be getting nowhere. By this time though I was bleeding out my rectum. I was able to use the suppository but it didn't work, actually I tried a couple. I asked Denise to get me an Enema from Food City. I remembered a friend telling me his mom had to use these on his dad when he had cancer and was on the pain meds.

  She brought me one back and I read it and asked her to help, it said two people were better than one at it. She refused to help so I was on my own. I done the directions as best I could and fell asleep on the floor in the bathroom from exhaustion of the whole ordeal which had gone on for hours prior to this. I laid 2 old towels down on the tile which I took a blow dryer that did heat the tile up enough to not be as uncomfortable. About an hour later I awoke and a little moved. So after that I repeated the process, fell asleep again and more moved very painfully. The instruction said most if not all of the liquid in the bottle should be placed inside yet both time I was only able to place about 1/8 in.

  I went back to the cabinet and took yet another dose of Morphine, ran a hot tub of water and soaked. I also got some kind of pill that is suppose to relax you (one of the ones I take for the treatment). When I got out I took and done a 3rd one this time getting maybe 1/4 or a little more in. I laid there prepared for the wait and it came fast. It was one of those pains that make you want to throw up, but out came a lot. Once it was over, the pain lessened, but I was exhausted. I took a bath and went to bed.

  Later this morning Denise fixed me a pancake, I ate about 1/2, and mixed some of the laxative later on. More came out then than last night. I believe I had become impacted from days of not being able to use the bathroom.

  I've slept on and off all day today and kept on the Morphine. I'm still sore and it is still hard to set up or place any pressure on my rear end. I still think there are more left, but maybe I'm wrong... sure hope so. I am almost tempted to try another enema but doing these on your own are very hard to do.

  The outside of my throat is showing the same attributes as the last time when I ended up in the hospital. It will be a race to see if 4 more treatments can be done without another break. this could explain where the ones missing are.       

Friday, January 15, 2010


  Slept so-so last night, started to post but didn't. It got late quicker than I thought and I was worn out. My throat felt like it was swollen inside but nothing like tonight. Over the last few days too I've encountered a few people with throat cancer that they thought were cured only to find out they wasn't. That is just a bit depressing so I didn't write.

  We arrived at UT at the regular time but the waiting room had a few in it already. We sat for a while and waited as the computer had to be shut down and restarted. I still haven't seen the lady that has throat and mouth cancer, I know she wasn't through yet. The other lady that comes with her husband asked if we had seen her or the young man that has throat cancer in a while. They are there before we get there. The guy with a beard who goes after me said he hasn't seen either this week, except maybe Monday. I know the lady with throat and mouth cancer had to take a 2 week break at the same time that I did and I know she lacked as many if not more treatments than I did.

  After we were done with the treatment I took Ruth up on her offer for an IV for fluids. Me and Charlie walked over to the Chemo Hut and then Charlie went back and moved the truck from the parking lot where we park for radiation to the parking lot where the chemo is. I took 1 bag, maybe should have done 2 but I decided not to. I felt a lot better after the one. I believe that I was getting dehydrated. It's pretty common for me to have night sweats. Funny, this is the first time I've bruised from the IV. Ruth gave me a prescription for more pain patches. We will get them filled tomorrow.

  While in the Chemo Hut I met a man who was doing his first Chemo with his wife at his side. He has throat cancer too yet he never smoked, no acid reflux, and no alcohol. Charlie and I told him what those who told us to use. gave him tips on lotions, drugs, numbing agents, moisturizing mouth sprays, and staying away from eating with anything metal. He was fast asleep when we left. The guy was in good spirits and a good sense of humor, I think he will do fine. He was like me when I first started this, a bit on the heavy side. He said he loved to eat. I didn't tell him that eating would soon be a chore and not a pleasure.
 Charlie and I went out shopping, but we didn't buy anything, lol. Harbor freight and Northern Tools. Then since we missed breakfast we hit Shoney's buffet bar. While food has very little taste, I still remember when it did have taste. It is hard to explain to someone that everything either tastes bad or not at all. Eating is just merely something you do to survive. I love the "what do you feel like eating?" or the "what would you like to eat?" question.  

 Denise noticed that my outside throat, especially on my left side is almost like it was when I went to the hospital. For the last 2 nights I've been dressing my neck myself so this was her first close up look at it in a couple of days. The treatment is quicker but focuses maybe even more intense on just a fewer areas. Tonight, even more so than last night I'm having difficulty breathing from the swelling inside my throat. There is a lot of mucus and or thick saliva coming out I have to spit up. Tea is still acceptable and water, but not too cold with pain. It takes that third swallow from a sip to get past the gag reflexes, least you get choked. One sip, two swallows then a third. 

  Anything that is below room temperature is like fire when it goes down yet Denise says cold will take down the swelling. The outside pain is not too bad and the pain patch is managing it fairly well, the inside however is another story. I've been having to take 1/2 the Endocet every 4-5 hours to manage it. It's hard to sleep because you feel like your throat is going to shut off. The bleeding from where I cracked my throat open however has finally stopped. Swallowing is still fairly manageable. I've taken some Benadryl and biotene, occasionally using the Lidocaine, especially if it's a very cold drink. The outside of my throat is throwing off quite a lot of heat, not to mention the skin is once again coming off. These are deep burns again, a bit deeper than I expected.

  I have 4 treatments left, surely I can finish the 4. Talk about coming full circle again. Before I was diagnosed I fought sleep from fear I wouldn't awake, now I do the same thing. I've got an oxygen tank out in the Sunroom and I use to sneak out a catch a few breaths of it. I think tonight I will do it again. It's almost as if you are smothering even though you are breathing. Like breathing through a collapsed straw. I've tried nose and mouth breathing, still the same. Thank God I have a two day break yet it does make me wonder. If what the do today I get the effects the next two weeks, I am about to be in for a rough month.

   Me and Bill went out later this evening and I bought another camper top. The cold air felt so good on my throat. I'm wondering if maybe a cold compress should be applied to the outside of the throat to reduce the swelling of the inside.

  I've got both humidifiers running wide open as usual.  Keep a chair pushed up to my bed that has water and an empty water bottle to spit in, along with the biotene. I'll be up and down through the night spitting, drinking and warding off the pain of waking up with a dry mouth and throat. Panella was quick to explain that the dry mouth was one of the worse side effects often overlooked when doctors or people tell about their experience. It is one of the worse side effects there are. This isn't a I'm thirsty dryness, it is an extremely painful dryness. Usually it isn't lasting but for some, it never goes away. I pray that it will not be permanent. Since I've lost most of my muscle I can see the damage and scars from my shoulder surgery. It's kinda freaky seeing how much difference there is between the two arms. Now I know why my left hand stays numb and my arm only works in certain ways. The muscles that had developed to compensate for the damage are wasted and fat that was around it.     

  I've had a lot of fatigue this week going in and out of it. For the first time in a while some depression. I still get these nervous jerks, muscle twitch, or whatever you call it. My body is beginning to break out again like it did with the last chemo and it's getting hard to tell the break out from the Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma patches. I drove to the office for the first time yesterday but probably won't do that again for a while. These sudden sleepy spells comes over me and then there are sometimes double vision. I've learned mostly how to deal with the double vision, I've had that hit over the last 5 years so that I have a lot of practice at getting through them. We've never quite yet figured out where that comes from.

  I can see and feel my threat of not waking, similar to what happen to my father, just as he knew it. That is why I try and make sure that my last words are kind and I tell those I'm talking with I love you every night. I end my conversations with my kids and parents with I love you. I've come to realize the meaning of what my great grandmother use to say about not letting the sun set down on you with hard feelings. To always make peace before you go to bed, and never go to bed angry. Thing is, that holds true for all of us. The difference is that I have a physical condition that make that very real and reminds me, but the sad truth is that we are all subject to not having tomorrow to make peace, to not make amends, to not say what we needed to say. Hopefully we all go to bed and end our conversations with family and loved ones with I love you, just in case tomorrow never comes.        

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1-13- 10

I apparently set my alarm clock on daylight savings time and at 4:45am I awoke and freaked out because it said 5:45am. I ran into Denise's room headed for the closet and went and brushed my teeth. Denise pointed out my clock was wrong and after checking other clocks in the house... it was, lol.

  Today was suppose to be the start of the short ones yet one of the other girls said yesterday was. Funny but they don't seem any shorter. On the outside my throat looks a lot better than the last time but on the inside, it is horrible again. It feels like my throat is closing off again and where I cracked it open it is very painful. It did finally stop bleeding though. I've went from worrying about this pain patch to adding 1/2 an Endocet to my day 3 times a day. Kim has relieved my fear on the patch and I believe she is correct, I'm benefiting more than I know from wearing it. If all goes well, the Thursday after this one will be my last treatments... Thank God.

  Picture Strep throat, now multiply that. That is what this feels like. Each day gets a little worse. The cracks are getting better though as Kim suggested that I go back to doing the Miracle Mouth Wash regularly. It does burn a bit but maybe that shows it's helping.

  I have went back to room temperature water rather than cold. Cold water is producing too much pain. Smaller foods like rice are off the list again until these cracks heal. They are big enough to harbor some of the small grains which leads to coughing them up.

   I've used a tom of Biotene lately as the saliva glands have all but quit with regular secretions and have gone back to a thick mucus like secretion. Especially before treatment. While you are strapped down the last thing you want is a dry mouth and suddenly want to swallow, and there is nothing there to swallow to moisten the throat. I read on another throat cancer blog that sometimes they have to stretch your throat again and remove scar tissue. Hopefully that will not be the case here.   

   We've broken the ice with the man with a beard in the waiting room now. It's took a while but between Charlie and me he now speaks and smiles. No more long faces and silence. I believe he is going to be alright now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


  Early again but not as cold. Charlie and me went got to UT in plenty of time again today even though we killed a little time this morning.

  It was a short treatment and went well. I met today with Dr Green and asked about the feeling I had cracked open two places in my throat and told him it bled, not a lot, but still bleeds some. He said it wasn't unusual for that to occur since my saliva glands aren't working as they should. He wasn't too concerned so I guess that it will be ok. 

  My throat is getting tighter and tighter inside and more foods and drinks are taken off the do list each day again. It's painful to eat and talk again, but I knew this was coming this time. Me and Charlie still managed to eat a big breakfast afterward at Shoneys while I still can. They always remember my plastic silverware to eat with.

  Coming back home, the cocktail was in full swing and as I got warm in Charlie's truck I began to get sleepy, think it was the drugs and a full belly. I slept until the phone rang today until 1:30pm, lol. Now approaching 11pm, I'm ready for sleep again. Must be the radiation.

  I thought I'd post and I looked for an email from Sally, but didn't see the email. I always look forward to getting emails from Sally. We made friends a few years back from the Lymphoma board. Sally is a great lady and has been an excellent friend. Denise always looks for her email too. Even though we've never met face to face I consider her to be one of my best friends. She is very tough to have gone through what she has gone through and remain so positive and caring.

  There still wasn't many that were there early this morning which was a shocker.  

Monday, January 11, 2010

1- 11- 10

I couldn't get to sleep until about 2am then at 5am I was back up. Once again we head into the eye of the storm. I hadn't placed the tank properly back on the humidified last night and it blew dry air. I woke up several times with a dry mouth and pain. I kept using the Biotene and the Lidocaine.

  We left and even though I took my cocktail at the regular time, it didn't take effect until I arrived home. I freaked out during treatments but managed to get through it. I'm sure that by now Charity must think I'm a nut because every time she does the treatment is when things go wrong. Although she was nice to me. The stops were long today, longer than I remember them being.

   Cindy was already at Easy In this morning so we stopped there and I bought a Cinnamon Bun (something like that) which gave me something on my stomach in order to take the pills. Charlie got his first cup of coffee. Me and Charlie went to Shoney's to eat. I managed to get a plate full ate plus a bowl of biscuits and gravy.

  No sooner than I hit the house I was in la-la land. I answered some emails but haven't a clue which ones or what I said. I crashed on the bed for about an hour, then another hour. It took the biggest part of the day to get back online mentally.

  My throat is still bleeding inside a little and every once and a while it feels like the cut opens up that sends a pain across my body. It seems hard to get my breath at times and getting choked only takes not noticing where my saliva is... what little I produce these days. It is getting a bit scary again and feels much like when this all started, only this time it is on my left side of my throat and what feels the small opening and where we breath from. It tends to get on ones nerves. Denise had me take one of the nerve pills after a while of debating, I did. It did calm down the anxiety.

  We walked up to Misty and Matt's for Brandon's birthday party, but I didn't stay long. Happy birthday Brandon, he is 8 years old.

  Today Gatorade is pretty much history again. Now we go back to water and maybe tea for a bit longer. The pain broke through enough tonight that I resorted in taking 1/2 an Endocet even with the patch. Still not much relief. Just finished doing the Miracle Mouth Wash. It does help some, but it too burns. Took two more Previcid, I seem to have a lot of acid reflux again starting up.

  I keep telling mysel... just 8 more treatments... 8 more.  

Sunday, January 10, 2010


  Man is it cold. I woke up several times last night with my mouth dry. This morning it was dry again and it is still bleeding a little from cracking open inside. The outside though looks great. I used the Blue Emu Oil on it over the weekend and tonight went back to the Miaderm radiation cream.

  We went to mom's for lunch. A definite no-no is chicken and dumplings. I got choked pretty back and had to leave the table, thought I'd never get it dislodged. It must have been at least 10 minutes and was embarrassing as it was the first look they had seen at me eating and getting choked. My brother, his wife and daughter kind of didn't know what to make of it. I'm just guessing here but I'd say that eating out and eating what I want to is again a thing of the past for a while. I tried Coke and it was like fire so no more soft drinks. This was to be expected though.  I really didn't want the Coke but I knew I could use it for a gauge to see where I am on the raw scale. 

  I can still (knock on wood) enjoy my Gatorade, milk, tea and water. Unexpected though is the weird taste of food this time. I wonder what I will crave this time, lol. I'll have to go back to soft food, but I have only 9 more treatments left and then it will take a couple or more weeks to go back down the pain scale. I think Green said that what they do this week has an effect next week. Tomorrow should be the last of the long treatments as they finish up the X-rays, then treatments should get shorter. I thought about a friend I had years ago that was a paratrooper in Viet Nam and what he said about parachuting. He said he was scared the first time he jumped out of a plane. I said that he probably was ready the next time and just dove right out. He said that the second time they had to kick him out of the plane. He laughed and said the first time he didn't know what to expect, the second time he knew what was coming.     

  Denise fed the cows and then the sheep, llamas, and goats. While I miss feeding them, It would be a lie to say I miss it when it's this cold. To remind me just how much fun it is though, Denise made sure when she got back to put her cold face on my bald head. It was cold enough the tractor didn't want to start, sucked the battery too low again so I took Big Ugly and boosted it off and got it started. I've been dieing to drive it since it has the steel bed on it, even if it was just across the driveway, lol. Plus I bought a new tool at TSC and it gave me a chance to use it, lol. I done a quick MMR report for Chase for mom to fax in. If Sandra is reading this, HI, and I'm still making sure everything is ok. Hopefully you will continue to do business with mom and I'll help her learn the way to do your foreclosures.

  A big thanks to Kim for her friendship and help tonight. I can't tell you what a positive difference you have made throughout this.    

Saturday, January 9, 2010


  I woke up late this morning with Denise asking me where the log chain was and that Bill was waiting. I took a sup of water which I didn't swash around well enough trying to hurry and answer. I cracked both sides of the inside of my throat open. It bled for a while and is still sore but not bleeding. Lesson learned. No matter how much someone is rushing for an answer in the morning, wait until you get your mouth and throat lubricated. I usually start out every morning with water, swishing it around and slowly swallowing, three or four times and if it isn't lubricated enough then I use biotene mouth spray. This is an over the counter product and if your pharmacy doesn't stock it, ask them to get it.

   My throat is swollen up again and coke or anything like that, including Chili is again, out of the question. Baby food may be yet back on the menu, definitely soft, bland foods. I also used for the first time in a while Lidocaine 2% Viscous.  

  We went to town to deposit a check that was due me last year but the closing company forgot to send it, then forgot that they forgot it. We ate Japanese which was good but the radiation and or chemo changed the taste of the shrimp sauce. The rice kept getting stuck in my throat too. That use to scare me and freak me out but after months of it, you learn to keep calm and work it back up. We started for Walmart but they were too busy, too much chance of infection. We went to Newport to get cat food then came back and found we needed chicken food, so off to Tractor Supply we went, lol. It was nice to g out and go somewhere other than UT for a change.

  Now Annie and Megan are sick, but like flu sick. I've felt so-so and just in case, I'm staying in my end of the house. I've only 9 more treatments! Then on the 22nd we go see Dr Panella again. I'll run out of these pain patches in a few more days but I have Endocets left and hopefully can ween off them. Kim, if you are still reading please let me know how many days I need to do the Endocets so that it will lessen the chance of DTs.  I will be so glad to be off pain medicine, yet I know I couldn't have tolerated all this without it. I think the worse is the Morphine and the patch though. I pray I never have to use these again. 

   Cody brought back Big Ugly with the new bed he installed and made for me.... it looks great. I may even have to change it's name now, lol. It ain't as ugly as it was. He done an excellent job on it. The headache rack he made and he had to re-fabricate the size of the floor and the rear of the bed to the bumper. He even put recessed tail lights in it! Mood lifter. He charged a reasonable price too for all that work. Charlie found one of the old bottles that Denise used to put my cocktail in, it had 2 pain pills (I usually carry them there just in case). He thought I needed it so he brought it back here in the cold.  

  The man in his 60s is still on my mind. Charlie had talked with him and his wife while I was in treatment Friday. He has had 9 so far and he said he couldn't do it. His wife said that he was giving up. He told them about my blog and if they are reading this, please don't give up. It will get worse... a lot worse, but then it will get better. The brief talk we had, you are looking at me at my best I have been in months. I probably look like I've been rode hard and put up wet, and seemed energetic, but I started out where you are. You can do this thing but not alone. You've a great teams of doctors and family and more importantly... God. Just remember to P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens. It will not be easy but it will be worth it. Just look at where you were, where you are, and where you will be. If you ever need a shoulder then call me. Denise gave you my card. 24/7, anytime you need to talk.     

Friday, January 8, 2010


With the snow last night we decided to leave late, maybe 7:30ish, that way it would be light enough to see the road condition. We got down there and the waiting room was empty. We waited maybe 10 minutes before I got called back. I timed my cocktail just right.The snow was beautiful.

  The ladies there said that I would have one more session like the other ones and eight more shorter ones as they focus the beam even more concise. Today's session took about 45 minutes. I told them about Dr Rathfoot looking into my throat and while swollen three times the regular size, no tumor. They were tickled for me.

   Charlie meanwhile sat in the waiting room where the older man that Denise had talked with him and her husband and gave them some tips on stuff to use. The man's wife told Charlie that he was about to give up after just nine treatments. That is how rough head and neck radiation is. Charlie gave them a pep talk and believe me, Charlie is good at that, they have worked for me. He told them that I had almost given up several times but they wouldn't let me. His appointments are later than mine so I may never see him again. That made me think of like an outline form of things I've used that have helped me. Head and neck radiation is suppose to be the worse places to get it.

  Again today I didn't shave. I have hairs starting back on my face but where the beard was, it is doubtful that I will ever be able to grow any hair there again... and that is ok. 

  I've slept on and off all day. I think I may have over eaten at Shoney's. I ate pretty much a whole plate and then I messed up and ate extra bacon. I still love bacon but it don't love me back. 9 more to go. It seems like an eternity yet the light is getting a bit brighter at the end of the tunnel.

  My throat is closed up a bit more tonight and it is getting back hard to swallow water, breathing takes effort as well. I'm using Lidocane 2% Viscous to numb it. The biggest draw back with it is it compromises your gag reflex when it numbs. Probably getting on the tractor and loading the flat bed didn't help any yesterday either.

  I'm listening to my body today and crashing early.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Happy Birthday Annie, today she is 19.

  Denise & I headed to UT this morning, we left a little later than me and Charlie but were still 15 minutes too early. Today they started the first of a series of x-rays as it is once again time to reset their aim. They said that the last 10 treatments would be directed even more concisely than before. Certain tissue, bone, and whatever else can't take but so much. With the snow, Charlie has decided that it's too bad to try and keep the appointment tomorrow, but we may try later though.  

  From there we went to see Dr Rathfoot. He ran the scope up my nose and into my throat. looking around he said that (called them by name) while he showed us a picture, were swollen three times their normal size. This is 2 muscles that to me look like lips that are at you voice box. This could also be very well the reason that I'm back with thick saliva and having a hard time swallowing. There is another lady that I talk with at radiation that has the same experience. Good news though.... no tumor. This is a doctor that I highly recommend. A good man, a good doctor. He takes time to answer your questions and he cares. Then again, all of my doctors have been that way. 

  I asked him if that meant I was clean completely and he said no. After a period of time passes they will CAT Scan me again and look for lymph node activity. Soooo we ain't there yet.

 Denise went to work while Charlie later on took me to the dentist. I think that was Ruth that called from Dr Panella's office wanting to know if I had fallen off the world, lol. I kept telling Denise we needed to set the appointment, she kept wanting to wait. Ruth set up an appointment for the 22nd.

   I got to the dentist and she began to work on me. The tooth is a loss, which I kinda expected. She was unable to even do a root canal due to calcification. I wasn't surprised as I've had a lot of teeth problems in the past. To extract it will take 4-6 weeks after all radiation and chemo has been finished. She prescribed prescribed an antibiotic which I haven't yet filled. So I will see her when the time comes that it is safe to have work done. Amanda Campbell is a very impressive and honest dentist.

   Denise is still quirky in her stomach from where she caught the stomach flu, for that matter, so are me and Annie.     

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


  Up at 5:30 to clean the lotion off my neck and at 5:45 me and Charlie headed out. radiation went good. Just in case I took a phenergan this morning just in case. Still a bit cramped but not too bad. Denise woke up about 2am throwing up and sick as a dog. One of the few times she ever called in sick at work. Annie is back to normal, only Megan thus far has escaped it. I bought a Mountain Dew and was able to drink it. Before we hit Knoxville I had drank the whole bottle, lol.

  It was nice to wake in a nice warm house for a change. It was also nice staying in it, lol. I researched and found our commission check owed us from last month, the title company had forgotten to mail it last month.  It should be here by Thursday.

  I've felt pretty darn good today. Man how I love these days like this. Perhaps that is why we have bad days, so that we will appreciate the good ones when we get them. I am so looking forward, yet scared at the same time to meeting with Rathfoot this Thursday. I pray he looks in my throat and says he sees nothing. Then I pray that the next Cat Scan, whenever that will be shows the Lymph Nodes clean.  I hope it's just a ghost pain but it seems like I can feel the tumor in there. Green checked me today and said he didn't feel anything. I'm back to 199lbs! One more Shoney's Breakfast Bar and I'll top 200 lbs, lol. That will be a little cushion for wat this will turn into in the coming weeks, hopefully though not as bad.

  The radiation has burnt the hair follicles on my neck so shaving should never be a problem again, at least on my neck.  

Monday, January 4, 2010


  Eddie Brooks came today just as he promised and while the house still feels cold, it appears to be working. He charged a very reasonable fee too. Seems that when it was installed the installers failed to place a jumper downstairs. I guess it will take a while to warm this house back up.

  Annie and I both are still cramping but mine is subsiding somewhat. It looks as if tomorrow is on for radiation. They called from radiation early this morning, apparently they hadn't received the message the Denise left last night. I told her that I know that there are several people there still doing chemo, plus the staff there and I didn't want to take a chance and give it to anybody. We will Lysol everything down just to make sure. I've lost back to 194 lbs so maybe some heavier shoes tomorrow to get me back to the magical number 195. Some of my pain today was very much like when I ripped off the pain patch, I know this one is due to change. Just in case it has expired, I took an Endocet. It seems to have smoothed the pain a bit. In addition to the pain, I was exhibiting all the symptoms a new friend that reads the blog warned me of, sweating, racing heart, pain by the buckets, especially in the kidneys. As a precaution, I will take another, one every 4 hours. God I can't wait to be done with all this pain medication. Megan made me some tea... her first ever and she done quit well at it. 

   I filled out 2 MMR reports for Fannie Mae for mom, Matt is suppose to go to the office and upload them tonight. I also called to see about our commission check from a closing that happened on 12-23-09. No word yet but the check was cut. There are parts of this job I will miss. I also called the board and asked what all I needed to do to retire my license and thanked them for all the great years of support. My voice has changed such that Marylin or Nancy didn't recognize me for the first time. That was discussed though and we knew it would be a possibility. At least for now I get to keep it, and that is better than none at all.

  I'm anxious to see Dr Rathfoot Wednesday. I pray that he will say I'm clean. I'm not sure when I will see Dr. Panella and see the next CAT scan to see if it is out of the lymph node. It would be bad to have went through this Hell and it not get it gone.

  Maybe more later...

Sunday, January 3, 2010


  Megan started getting sick with me but soon got better. Last night Annie started throwing up and had diarrhea just shortly after I did.

  We awoke today to a 66 degree house! We had a new heat pump put in 1 1/2 years ago and already it stays torn up. We got hold of a Brooks man Charlie recommended that is coming in the morning.  Denise has kept a fire going which has been our only source of heat.  

I've kept a fever of 101 today, not sure what that is coming from. I had Denise call radiation dept and tell then I wouldn't be in tomorrow. I don't think I have the energy but even more importantly, many there are doing Chemo and don't need this.

It's 3:01 and I'm still awake. I guess all that sleep in the last 2 days has amounted up. My saliva is still super consolidated, almost most like a paste. Dehydration? I'm still cramping and weak. Annie said hers had passed but she is still cramping and her muscles ache. I've checked and placed more wood in the wood stove twice now in order to keep the temperature up. My fever has went down the last 2 checks. So far I have kept down 2 Ensures and 2 Gatorades and I have no idea how much water. While this stuff is bad, it doesn't hold a candle to Chemo sickness. Went into the Kitchen to get some ice cream and Annie came walking in, so she is still up too. This end of the house ain't warm but warmer than last night when I put a toboggan on and fully dressed.   

Saturday, January 2, 2010


  I woke up about 5:30am, then went back to bed, lol. I've once again slept on and off all day long. dale visited us today, a very enjoyable visit. Megan didn't remember him, she was young the first times.

  Today, both me and Megan have had indigestion problems, almost like a bug or something. That equates to a quick posting as I head back to bed again. I must be competing with Rip Van Winkle these last few days. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Day

First off... Happy New Year!

I slept most of the day getting up just for bathroom breaks until about 1pm. Denise talked me into weighing and I am back to 196 lbs. I noticed that urinating was not as productive and painful again and the sweating came back so I asked Denise when the patch was due a change. It was due yesterday. We changed the patch and over a period of time everything slowly went back to normal.

   I bragged that I may have to not take my blood pressure medicine anymore but I kept getting these headaches. We checked my blood pressure and it was way high. The Morphine seemed to lower it and now that I'm not on Morphine anymore my blood pressure has gone back up, so tonight I took my pills. We went to mom and dad's and I ate quite a lot, especially mashed potatoes. I have 2 more doses of the Augmentin left to take for the abscesses ad while my face is still a little swollen, very little pain is left. Denise's blood pressure was high too. I'm going to talk with some of her coworkers and get them to keep an eye out on her.

  I've mixed feeling about officially being disabled, I think I may be the first in the family to do so. I've 14 treatments left and I know that based on the first 17 and with what the last 4 have done I will be back into the flames again. They say it takes at least 6 months to recover from this after treatments stop. I have lost a lot of muscle in all this, probably more muscle than hair, lol. I have learned to not be so independent and learned to be humble. I have lost a lot of pride in the things I shouldn't have had and grateful for the people and things  that count. 

  I guess that will be my New Year's resolution, try and recover the muscle I've lost and learn to cope with the numbness and the muscle spasms that I seem to have been left with. God has been good to me and surrounded me with the best family, friends, doctors, nurses, and techs one could ever ask or want for. Certainly better than I deserve. I've laid out in my mind a lot of things that need to be done to the house, some of which I know I can't do, all of which I know have to be done. I will slowly build back my strength doing what I can do. I probably won't be able to get them all done but at least I will do what I can and slowly build back muscle. the one thing I will miss is my gardens and even though I will not get to plant them, maybe I will be able to maintain them later in the year as my immunity builds. I haven't had the heart to look at my seeds catalogs. Here is a plug for the places I get them from. Southern Exposure Seed and my favorite, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I also get plants and seeds from Allen-Surrette hardware and plants from a place in Grainger county.  

   We go Wednesday, and I pray that Denise can take me to radiation, then Dr Rathfoot, then to the dentist get my tooth fixed. If she does good then I think I will switch dentists. That should be a full day. It's kinda ironic, my tooth will enable me to eat just as my treatment will take the ability away. Funny how things work.

  I keep seeing the older man in the waiting room that first day back. His wife told Denise that he has tongue cancer and that day will be his first treatment. I say a prayer for him every night even though I don't know his name, but I'm sure that God does. Radiation is worse on head and neck cancer and I imagine that the mouth is far worse than what I have experienced. I pray that he and others will know that you don't have to go through this alone, Jesus is always there, all you gotta do is ask. That doesn't mean the pain will go away or that it will be easy but rather that He will help you and surround you with loving kind people. Miracles do happen, many are right before our eyes, we just have to look.