A day at a time is really all that I can take right now. It's honestly getting pretty bad. Right now, I am doing good, but last night and this morning were an entirely different story.
Yesterday, during the day, I had my final set of images taken. This was one of those hour long appointments in which I am under the mask and have the mouthpiece in the whole time. The images came back clean, again a good thing. It means that on Tuesday, I begin my last radiation spray schedule. The whole time that I have been in radiation treatment so far, I have been receiving radiation in three places. Once this new schedule kicks in, it will be reduced to two places that I will receive the radiation. This is good that some of the places that have received it will have the chance to start to heal. The places that they will be targeting though, will receive a much more intense amount of radiation, and will probably be much more sore.
What I am hoping is that the radiation backs away from my throat a little bit. It's killing me. They say that it's hard to say if this is going to help my throat or not, but they believe that it it is likely that my throat does feel a little relief. We'll deal with what it makes hurt worse later, I guess.
I met with my nurses, nutritionist and a doctor again yesterday too. They, at the time, said that overall they were impressed with where I was. I'm still eating (though it is much more difficult), and still getting around some. The thing that I think impressed them the most was the condition of my skin. I am showing some redness in the area, but it's really not too bad. The burning, on the outside, is pretty minimal.
Last night though, the pain really started getting bad. It hurts to eat, hurts to drink, to take pills, even to swallow. This is mostly because of the mucus. I tried to take an oxychodone and head to bed early. The problem is that even though they are so small, I couldn't even get that down I was so sore. I had taken the magic mouthwash and lidocane before trying to take the oxy, but it was still too big and rough to swallow. I had to spit it out twice before finally getting it down. I was in bed by 8ish, and pretty out of it. It worked for a while, though I woke at about midnight hurting again. The magic mouthwash took care of it that time on it's own though. I woke up one more time at 4 am, hurting pretty badly. Again, more meds, more sleep.
When I woke up this morning, I was still in pretty bad shape. I got an oxy down, and Beth crushed up my anti nausea, my anti mucus, my steroid, and helped me get them down. Once I got to the doctor, They gave me a liquid oxychodone, which helped SO fast. I was able to tolerate the entire treatment again today with no gagging or anything.
I contemplated putting this in, and this paragraph is a bit graphic, so feel free to skip over it if you get grossed out easily. The thing that is making my mouth the most painful is the mucus. It's so thick. They say that it is what is creating the sores all over my mouth, and that unfortunately, there is just not a lot that they can do with it. They told me about a few natural home remedies that I can try, like Chinese egg drop soup, to take on top of the cough syrup that they gave me that is supposed to help. The other thing they gave me is basically a bunch of sponges on sticks. With these, you get them wet, roll them around in your mouth and pull them back out- it works kind of like spaghetti on a fork when you twirl it. It collects it all and pulls it out. It helps for a bit, but it's pretty temporary.
So for pain now, I am on the liquid oxy, on top of tylenol every 4 hours, and advil every alternating 4 hours (basically every two hours I am taking one of the two). They also have me on the magic mouthwash and the lidocane. I havent done a count again for a few days, but believe that I have made it to 20 or 21 different medications. The next post I do I'll try to get a picture of all of them again.
I am supposed to start getting up at night to stay on top of them instead of just sleeping through the night right now. If I count all of the "doses" that I am taking, I believe it to be a bit over 40 different things a day. It's a bit of a process just keeping up with it.
Alright, well, I think that's the update. They say to expect big nights of ups and downs. I'm glad the count is getting low right now, as it's hard to admit, but I just don't know how much more of this I have in me. I know I can make it through what's left, but if it was anymore than that, it would be a struggle.
Six days left though. Just six.