Friday, February 17, 2012


It's been a rough few days. I'm still trying to feel good about everything- to stay upbeat, and I am able to see Amy this weekend, so that is medicine on it's own, but again, it's been a rough couple days.

After my post on Tuesday about receiving radiation, and how painless it was, I started to develop some pain around my right ear and my right temple. It started small, very tolerable. As the day went on, the pain progressively got worse as the evening went on. By the end of the day, It was pretty brutal. We called the doctor on call at the UW cancer center, asking for advice.

At first, the advice was to take a couple of Tylenol, and if the pain got worse, go to the nearest ER room for pain control. I had leftover pills from my initial surgery, so asked if I could either take Vicodin or Oxychodone instead. Long story short, two Oxychodone later, I was eating (which hadn't happened all evening because of pain) and out like a light for the evening.

I was instructed to get into the clinic early the next morning so that they could discuss the issue with me and see if we could take care of the problem.

The next morning, at the appointment, I was told basically that I had a lot of swelling along the right side of the face. The swelling, according to them, was putting pressure on the right side of my face, causing the pain. They told me to, next time, take Tylenol. If that didn't help the pain, take more Oxychodone.

On the way home from that appointment, my ear immediately started hurting. Badly. I took the Tylenol and waited an hour. It made no impact whatsoever. So I took the Oxychodone, had some lunch (thanks, mom!) and took an anti-nausea that they gave me. Unfortunately, the anti-nausea didn't work, and I got sick on the side of the road on the way home. The problem didn't stop there. The nausea got so bad that I wasn't able to eat or drink anything for the rest of the day, minus about two bites of apple sauce, a sip or two of apple juice, and a small sip of ginger ale.

Again, on the phone with the on call doctor. I was instructed to take yet another anti-nausea pill, and if that didn't help enough for me to rest, hed to the closest ER again. Unfortunately that night, I couldn't avoid it. My mom brought me to Tacoma General, where they loaded me up on even more anti-nausea medicine. They got me to the point of being able to drink a can of apple juice, gave me a prescription for another kind of anti-nausea, and sent me home. At about 3am. I was up by about 6:30 this morning to get back to UW for more radiation.

At the UW appointment, they told me that they are sure that the cause of the problem is that while most radiation is very targeted, there is a minor amount of basically "residual spray". That spray, they say, is probably affecting either my temporal lobe, or the lower right side of my brain. As scary as that sounds, apparently it's somewhat common. They gave me a prescription for basically a super-pill that is an anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, steroid all in one. After taking that, I was able to finally eat a few graham crackers and a cookie and hold it down.

They think that this will get me through the weekend, and hopefully things will be better after that.

The thing that really makes this hard is that according to my nutritionist, I should be consuming around 3,400 calories per day- and even then they are not sure that I will may maintain my current body weight-which is really important that I do.

I'm feeling pretty good now. I ate a full dinner, got some sleep, and am feeling reasonably okay. I've got good drugs to help me out. The best though- Amy's laying here next to me. I'm happy.

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