Nearly there…

I really do have to say that the last few weeks feels like running a marathon unprepared. I am tired, weak, sloughing off the pounds and, as of Monday of this week, was pronounced ‘dehydrated’.

Eating is not the first thing on my personal agenda, but it would appear that weight gain is at the top of my caregivers’ list. Now, to be fair, I haven’t tried any proper food in over a week, but have restricted my intake to Ensure, Boost and variations on a theme. There may actually be some taste sensation coming back but I wouldn’t really know, because I haven’t tested it. Maybe I will try some sweet and salty tidbit a bit later… What is inhibiting my eating at the moment is a complete and utter disinterest. I am still vomiting occasionally, and usually because the heavy, sticky saliva (part of the result of the saliva gland transplant) that I am producing triggers my gag reflex. Swishing my mouth with club soda, or a mixture of water and baking soda does help break down the saliva, but the gargling is a very fine balancing act that can end up with me in the bathroom… not a lot of fun.

One of the things that I noticed, and that kinda scared me, was that one of my extended visits to the bathroom, complete with the loss of an Ensure, felt oddly comforting. Losing the milky Ensure is so much nicer than the ‘dry heaves’ that I often induce trying to brush my teeth, or when I screw up the delicate balance during gargling. In fact, it was almost ‘soothing’ to the esophagus. I wonder if, on one level, those who suffer from bulimia, take comfort in the very act of vomiting, rather than just the significance of the purge?

The attempts to rehydrate me seem to be going well. Immediately after the daily radiation treatment, we trot down the hall to where a nurse is waiting to plug me into a slow drip of fluids (laced with potassium and other goodies). Normally, I just lay there, daydreaming, listening to my iPod, and then drift away for small snatches of time. Poor Gail paces, tries to knit, tries to read…

After tomorrow’s session, the good doctor wants to ‘reevaluate’ my position. I am actually going to suggest that we keep up the re-hydration through the first few days of the next chemo, which starts on Tuesday.

slight change to the scorecard: Two more radiation sessions (Friday and Monday)
One more chemo, starting Tuesday.

We’re almost done! I may be optimistic, but if all goes well, April 1st should be really good day! We need to heal the mouth, and recover from the side effects of the chemo, but, it just feels like we’re going to be in good shape.

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