I was determined not to write another post until I had some improvement in how I felt. You know, maybe til I was able to swallow WATER without the help of a Lidocaine pre-wash. Radiation ended November 27, the day before Thanksgiving. You may remember that. I’ll never forget it. I set myself back quite a bit, revisiting Bugs Bunny Eyes, etc, trying the Fentanyl patch to kill pain. I do have to admit, I could eat pain-free. It’s just that nothing stayed down. It took a good 18 hours or more for that crap to work its way out of my system.
The problem was, now I still couldn’t eat or drink. It just hurt too much. And, just as Dr. Kokeny prophesied, it got worse after treatment ended. How does THAT happen? About a week after radiation ended, I emailed the doc and Tony, the nurse, to ask WTF, but in a much nicer way. Dr. K said in some people, it takes weeks… WEEKS… for the pain to start going away. This is not the 7-10 days I was originally promised. I felt like the victim of a bait-and-switch scam. I solemnly told Tony that if that’s the case, I’m retiring from the program. He said he bet I’d feel better over the weekend. Have I mentioned how much I love nurses?
Because I started to feel better on day 10, which was over the weekend. I am now on my 5th bottle of Lidocaine chaser. And as much as I hate to do it, I pop half a Percocet every night, or I wouldn’t be able to sleep. BUT, I ate solid food for the first time in more than three weeks Saturday, some of it without Lidocaine pre-wash or chasers. (Food tastes pretty good when your mouth isn’t numb!) I can now drink pretty much anything without any prescription help at all.
With this amazing and very welcome development, I am starting back on some sort of lame training regimen. I didn’t do much of anything for many days in a row, because I don’t think I was even taking in 1,000 calories a day. I didn’t want to waste those calories on, say riding a bike in place. It’s not that I wasn’t getting hungry. It’s that the pain-to-hunger ratio made eating not worth it. I actually never stopped swimming. But last Friday, I added actual structure to the workout, which I felt in all my gluteuses: Maximus, Minimus, Minneapolis, all of them the next day. Saturday, I got on skis for a bit and had to take a break halfway down Pay Day run. That’s never happened before. Interesting. It’s going to be a longish road back. But I’m so glad to be ON the road, and not lying in the ditch beside it anymore that you will not hear me complain (much).
Then, there’s the silver lining of silver linings: I lost a lot of weight while in Radiationland, which is not a good look. In fact, I don’t like being this scrawny at all. I plan to put back on about 10 pounds starting now. Going in to Holiday Season. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? That’s amazing timing, for once. On top of that, my pals, Angie and Stu, are planning Thanksgiving for Christmas dinner since I missed the Big Feast this year. Pass the egg nog. And another slice of pumpkin pie. In fact, pass everything down this way.