Our life was turned upside down at the end of May when I was diagnosed with Pharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (Stage3). Was told I wouldn't survive an Operation, and unable to have Chemotherapy because of other health complications, including Diabetes. Radiation was the only thing on offer for me.
We were due to go on Holiday to Wales the next day, and duly went, but our thoughts were very much in the future, and what was going to happen.
My last Blog entry was the night before being admitted to Hospital to have a PEG(percutaneous gastronomy tube) inserted in my Stomach (July), this was for when swallowing would become difficult......little knowing how soon that would be! (don't know how to get rid of the WHITE bits...sorry)
Next followed two 'fittings' for a head 'Shield' to be used throughout..... I thought this was for protection, BUT, it's so that they can bolt to the Radiation table, as treatment is given. It probably sounds horrendous,but you get used to it, and going every weekday from August 5th-September 23rd. There is usually at least three Radiographers in the room with you, and they are mostly very kind, and you get to know some of them more than others. It's a constant round of Dr, Dieticians,Speech therapist etc...you get a bit weary of it all, as you progress through treatment, but it is neccessary, and they really look after you.
I was determined to 'eat' normally, but couldn't even swallow Water within a few treatments. I have lost almost 3 stones in weight, and the Consultant said the 'feeding tube' is my best friend just now.
The actual Radiotherapy isn't painful, it's what comes after, the skin breaking down etc. was told it would get worse at the end of treatment, and it did!
Allan said I looked like I'd been attacked by a Shark.....(if you can see the dark areas, a little of that remains, but mostly healed....that was quite an ordeal......and now it's what is going on inside. I have had Thrush on the tongue for weeks now, and have had 5 lots of antibiotics, also developed Lymphedema in the neck area (fluid not draining). Going to see someone with that on 28th December, at a specialist clinic.It has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with in my life, but with Allan's help and care, we cope.Still unable to eat solid food, but now managing to swallow Water....I have been back to Clinic on the 5th and 20th December, and the District nurses still come to see me. I was told it will be months before I'm really well, and may never get back to 100% me.Allan keeps me going and encourages me, as I've had some down days recently.
We start the New Year 2nd January with 'review' MRI Scan .
Hope it's not too much information, but some people have been really concerned via letter,cards, email etc.
We can only hope for a better year 2012.