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Time to Fight


William
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4 hours ago, William said:

Sometimes it wants to feel like a medieval torture device when lock those grey clamps down. There isn't any pain per say, but it's pretty damn tight! There isn't any getting out of it until they let you out. It messed with me psychologically the first couple days.

After that, you pretty much make yourself focus on the music they play of your choice and try not to swallow. They start off by taking a  fresh xray, about a 3 minute cycle.  After that, it's the radiation. Each cycle (I get 3), lasts about a minute and a half, and there's about 2 minutes in between each one. 

I'm going to bed. Pooped. I decided to mow the front and middle yards after I got home, plus did some planting with Patty. Sleepy time 😴

Sleep well Brother ...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, here we go with week #4 with July 11th in my crosshairs....that sore throat they talked about is trying to kick in a bit, so far though it's quite manageable. Taste buds are getting beat up again because things I remember being able to taste reasonably well are somewhat bland now.

Not very enjoyable when most things you are eating are just flat in your mouth. I can see what they mean when they said "you might find yourself coming to rely more on that feeding tube as we get deeper into the treatments". A combination of side effects really can take you down.

The rash the mask gave me is improving since we started covering my shoulders with tissue prior too fitting. 

Overall, I still think I'm quite fortunate thus far at this stage of the treatments. Still maintaining my weight also 👍

A Big Thank You and too all my friends here and your support ❤

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Looking at a 3 day weekend thanks to the 4th, not going to complain about that! One less day without being strapped down is fine with me....

It's hard to believe only 6 more treatments left. Time has gone by rather quickly it seems. Along with the aforementioned side effects I mentioned before, I discovered another one on the way home Thursday. My facial hair was falling out. Pulled into Kwik Trip and noticed a bunch of small hairs on my shirt. Looked in the mirror and noticed the telltale spots on my jawline where it was getting thin and patchy.

So, for the first time in years, my face is practically stubble as I was forced to shave it off. I'm confident it will grow back but still, it's a shocker when these side effects actually happen. It's one thing to know about them, talk about about them, maybe even see them happening to someone else. But when it's you, it manages to take you down a few notches. 

Hopefully, that's all I have to deal with being that I'm almost done. My appetite for solid food rides a razor's edge because of my taste buds getting bombarded. Making up for that at least with extra cartons of Ensure Plus 👍

Going to continue to consider myself very fortunate because others have suffered far worse than I when going through this kind of thing. 

Anyway, my update. 

Have a safe 4th Of July My Friends!

🇺🇸

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When I read of your taste buds being bombarded, I still feel positive for you.

 

For some reason I thought your lost of taste sensation might be more permanent, so every time I read that it gets a temporary setback, I'm happy for what it will ultimately be when your treatment is behind you.

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2 hours ago, Steph said:

When I read of your taste buds being bombarded, I still feel positive for you.

 

For some reason I thought your lost of taste sensation might be more permanent, so every time I read that it gets a temporary setback, I'm happy for what it will ultimately be when your treatment is behind you.

Actually, there's some aspects of taste I might never get back. That issue comes with the surgery I had. Combined with radiation, it could be forever altered. We'll see. Once treatments are done, the healing process will begin. That could take weeks or months.

I just need to continue researching, taste testing, etc. Today for example, I tried some sausage and gravy over biscuits. I promptly spit it out. Tasted like rusty metal? Right now everything is different. 

I'm learning that bland works best so far, even though it's not great either. Not having much luck with seasonings thus far. I tried eating some spaghetti and meatballs with spaghetti sauce the other day, putting some pepper on it for possible enhancement. It was like eating straight pepper out of the shaker. I didn't taste anything else in that mouthful. It sucks.

 

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TGIF!!!! My last full week of treatments is done. 1 DAY LEFT!!!

Looking forward to Monday and that last time walking through the "blast door" as I call it. I'll miss Tara, who's been with me since day one as she is off Monday.

Feeling great, still holding my weight and not experiencing any other side effects than what I have already mentioned. 

Thought I would share A few photos I took today 😊

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Finally, my treatments are done....what a journey it has been so far. Now it's healing time. I'll probably be feeling the effects of radiation for a couple weeks more, but my skin should start healing slowly. This final week my neck and throat area began to burn and blister a somewhat.

Now, just have to go back for follow up appointments for a couple months with radiology and my surgical team before getting the PET scan too see how these treatments actually did. 

But for now, rest and relaxation! Not really, gotta stay active but don't have too travel every day anymore 👍😊

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1 hour ago, William said:

Finally, my treatments are done....what a journey it has been so far. Now it's healing time. I'll probably be feeling the effects of radiation for a couple weeks more, but my skin should start healing slowly. This final week my neck and throat area began to burn and blister a somewhat.

Now, just have to go back for follow up appointments for a couple months with radiology and my surgical team before getting the PET scan too see how these treatments actually did. 

But for now, rest and relaxation! Not really, gotta stay active but don't have too travel every day anymore 👍😊

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Congratulations Brother, full steam ahead  :)

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7 hours ago, Steph said:

Bravo!  

You're allowed at least two days of completely zoning out.  Anyone who says otherwise can come talk to me!

There isn't any marble related restrictions too that standing order is there? 😬

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Been about a week since I posted anything, figured I better holler! 

As some of you already know, radiation treatments were completed a week ago today. I was told that the radiation will actually still be working for up to 2 weeks following the last treatment, so the side effects I am experiencing will persist for a while yet (lack of taste, appetite, and fatigue being the lingering ones)

The newest side effect, if one will call it that, is something that I think happens to everyone going through radiation treatments. Slight, moderate or sometimes severe burns too the skin and underlying tissues. I was a little red around the throat and neck area towards the end of treatments, but a few days afterwards, bam, major "sunburn city"

Fortunately, I am still relatively numb from the surgery itself, so I have been spared the pain that should be associated with this. No pain medication of any kind through this whole ordeal! In the hospital, it was just IV tylenol. At home, 1 aspirin a day. Not "true" pain meds in my book lol....

Other than the above issues. I feel great. Staying active and positive. What I don't eat by mouth I make up for with Ensure, so maintaining weight.

I am indeed thankful to be able to share this journey with my friends, rather my "extended family" here at MarbleConnection. Thanks for having my back 😊

Here's a picture of my "sunburn"....hopefully it isn't found offensive in any way. If so, please feel free to remove it 😊 Starting to heal already, just have to soak it up every evening with Aquaphor. 

Please don't smoke! Or make an attempt to quit if at all possible. My father, a 3 pack a day smoker, slowly went cold Turkey about 25 years ago or so. He was fortunate. No cancer and living now at the age of 84. I should have listened the past 20 years he's been yelling at me. Our conversations would always end the same way...."Son...QUIT SMOKING!!!!"

Sorry too drag it out. I'm just THAT THANKFUL too still be alive. Another couple weeks without looking down my throat and I would have been a goner. Fact. 

Thanks again for allowing me to share 😊👍

 

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Very interesting.  Things one doesn't think about until suddenly one is required to.  A little advanced preparation for any one reading who might someday have to go through something similar.  

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On 7/18/2022 at 8:14 AM, Steph said:

Very interesting.  Things one doesn't think about until suddenly one is required to.  A little advanced preparation for any one reading who might someday have to go through something similar.  

Indeed, I definitely learned a life lesson that came with not so great consequences. The permanent loss of my natural voice. Sense of smell and taste severely altered and in most cases, gone. A large scar from ear too ear, a second "grin", the large point of entry when they removed my larynx (voice box) and all lymph nodes (roughly 20-30 on each side of my neck).

Hopefully temporary, but other side effects from surgery...a swollen neck. This condition is called Lymphedema. The radiation side effect I'm also hoping is temporary is the facial hair loss. In some patients it grows back. Sometimes even a different color. Other patients it never comes back.

There's so much that has changed. It's crazy to fathom how even the simplest things in life are affected. From a physical, emotional and psychological perspective. 

Reflecting back, I'll never forget that first cigarette. I was 14. Living in New Orleans with my Dad. A friend of mine had a stepfather who was a sailor on a freighter. He was always bringing back stuff from overseas. My buddy and I just had too try one of those Japanese versions of a Marlboro red!

After that, I would swipe a Benson and Hedges from my Dad when he left his pack unattended. This all stopped when I moved back to Florida where my Mother was.

My next encounter with cigarettes was in Jr. High. Smoking was all part of fitting in with the "cool" kids, ya know? I was hooked for life after that fateful morning at the bus stop.

Any smoker reading this, not so "cool" now, am I? What's sad is that most smokers will look the other way when it comes too anti smoking literature or commercials on TV. I know because I was one of those that chose too ignore.

And just think. I STILL didn't want to believe it or accept the truth that I had cancer. I kept putting it off until it damn near cost me my life. One, maybe two more weeks at home unchecked and Patty would have found me gone in my sleep.

It was too late for me, but the diagnosis of throat cancer scared me COLD TURKEY off of cigarettes. After hearing Dr. Ringstrom saying "Oh no" while looking down my throat that March day. Turning me around too show me the image of my consumed larynx. Seeing Patty break down in tears because at that point I thought I was staring at my death sentence. I was literally waiting for Dr. Ringstrom to tell me how little time I had left. Instead, he gave me hope. My last cigarette, although obviously too late, was put out on the way too that appointment. Never touched another one after that.

Yes, a life lesson that's now a part of my life every day, but in a different way for sure. This is my "Bible" away from church. Hopefully my life lesson will help educate others. This book pretty much explains the before, during, and after of how I lived and currently live each day.

Well, I blabbed a long time again! Gotta feed the birds! 😊

 

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Hey there! The neck and throat are feeling and looking tons better! Nothing but good reports from last weeks visit. Still packing on the pounds! I'm up to a weight that I haven't touched for years! 

Taste buds are still funky but I'm actually starting to get a little bit of it back. Sore throat is gone. Plus I have been taking absolutely nothing through my G-tube the past 2 weeks or so. Based on this, they might possibly pull it out when I go back for a check up on August 8th! All that's going through the tube is a little water for flushing purposes anyway (I do this daily so it doesn't get clogged, especially on the inside)

That awful rash the juggernaut headpiece gave me is almost gone. Thanks to the sticky conditions went through weather wise, it took a little longer. 

Looking ahead too that PET scan, which I think will occur sometime at the end of August. Maybe September. I don't see the surgical team for a follow up "inspection" until mid September, just a radiology visit every couple weeks until then.

Check it out! Super improvement! 👍

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, so much for looking forward to August 8th and getting this feeding/Gtube out of my stomach. Went outside without a shirt on and opened my gate. The latch of the gate somehow wrapped up my tube and yanked it right out of my stomach!

Sounds painful but actually I didn't realize it when it happened because I didn't even feel it. Somehow, the inflated "bladder" that keeps the tube inside my stomach deflated itself instantly! 

Nonetheless, emergency room bound last night as a precaution. Checked me out, cleaned me up and back home I went.

Hopefully a Normal weekend with a lot of quiet is in store, because the old blood pressure was through the ceiling! Imagine trying to call 911 without a voice box! I was the only one home at the time so luckily it wasn't anything really bad. Not that a bunch of stuff gushing ones stomach is ideal either!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I don't see anyone until September 15th, double whammy that day as I meet with the radiology team and the surgical team....my visit on the 8th went very well with radiology, no need too re-insert the as am maintaining, while slowly gaining, weight. Sitting at around 185 right now. No problem eating either, as my appetite has increased and I have "graduated" too an even wider variety of foods. Still pounding down my Ensure plus though too be on the safe side!

Just got breakfast so gotta go...Yummy! Potatoes O'Brien, Fried Eggs and a Hawaiian Bagel 😊

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