A few funny days of late, the best news is my radiation treatments are done! So, with 35 of those sessions in the bag, it's almost insurmountable to reflect on when it all started.
Every weekday since September 18, it's been the same deal: drive into Kelowna, cross the bridge, turn right on Abbott, left on Royal, squeeze into a parking spot and walk into the clinic. Head down the hallway, park myself on a chair and wait to be led into the treatment room. Geez...35 bloody times!
Yes, I'm sick of the routine. Actually, I struggled through the last two weeks of it, just the boredom and the emotions.
But, if there is an upside to it all, it's this wonderful lady, Judy, who steers the ship in the reception area. Talk about a person who is in the right place!
She just always there to greet folks with a smile, and a few different funky pairs of glasses. It's hilarious, but her presence is provides such a wonderful welcome to a facility that most of us surely do not want to attend. I asked her for a picture toward the end of my treatment, and she agreed, but only if I agreed to wear a pair of her glasses too.
Now that I'm done with the treatment side, there is still some heavy lifting to do. I'm about six days into the after effects of my final chemo session. Gay and I have been talking about the time frame from my second chemo session, because there was a run of a few days back then that were just about unbearable. But then, almost overnight, I could feel a change for the better.
Right now, I am experiencing more pain in my throat than at any other time during this treatment. It's almost like one last swift kick in the ass before I get an opportunity to reach a turning point of sorts. Of course, the tissue inside my throat has been torched for a couple of months, so I understand why the pain exists. But trust me, this is not "like" strep throat. It even hurts to speak and yawn.
I know that healing is on the way. I also know it will be slow going for awhile. Part of the battle now is to keep a balance between medication and nutrition. Hydration continues to be important as I have to maintain kidney function with the chemo drug still in my system.
Fruit juices have been history for awhile, which is terrible because of the valuable calories and nutrients. But the acids just further inflame the adventure in my throat.
Dairy is okay, chocolate milk and even egg nog. Fried rice and noodles work at times, to at least feel some bulk in my stomach.
TALE OF THE TAPE...
When treatment started, I weighed in at 189 pounds. After my final radiation treatment today...178.4 pounds. So, pretty good by all accounts. But, I am quite confident I will lose more weight during the next week. It seems inevitable until my throat feels better.
THE SUPPORT MECHANISM...
My brother is here now, in town from Saskatoon. I'll be shitty company in my current state, but it's comforting to have him here for Gay and my parents as well. He's an independent guy and will keep himself busy.
Gay has been incredible, not just everyday, but more frequently than that. Her determination just floors me at times.
I have a bunch more people to thank, and I will tackle that project in due course. But right now, I need some sleep.
More to come later...