Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 3 of Treatment

I took these photos on Day 2 of chemo plus radiation.  I'm gearing up to the time when I won't be able to eat because of soreness in my throat and looking to go the smoothie route, with protein shake, yogurt, ground nuts, greens and fruit to get my protein, calories and vitamins. 

Thanks to all those who give me things to make my days brighter.  This is a goodie bag for after treatments.  What fun!!

We had to go to Omaha on Day 2 of our treatment for a final check on the interior of my sinuses before treatment so we had an early radiation appointment.  Jim came back to see how they get me ready for the radiation.  It's a big room with this brand-new radiation machine that is able to pinpoint areas with greater accuracy in aiming the radiation so that they can miss the parts that don't need it. The room has 5 ft. thick concrete walls with a huge thick door to close me in on the little radiation table, while the techs are outside running it all on the computer and watching me on monitors.  I just lie there with my mask snapped to the table while the table moves into position, (this is done with lasers), listen for the machine to get into position over my head and listen to the buzzing and watch the flashing lights for 10 minutes and I'm done. 
It's 200 Centigrays for those who are interested and might know.  
They are radiating all of the front part of my head, face, sinuses, lymph nodes, from my forehead to my collarbone. There is no evidence of cancer in those lymph glands, but in case of a rogue microscopic cell, they are going there.  Better to get it all done at once than having to go back and do it again, I say.  I'm thinking I won't be very excited about having radiation there ever again.
Sadly, head and neck radiation is the worst there is for effects on the body, due to soreness and eating and swallowing problems.  It's a good thing I like to drink smoothies and you can dump lots of things in for nutrition. 

That mask leaves marks on my forehead for a little while.

Now, we come to Day 3.  This was the final day of the first round of chemo.  I had no trouble with the chemo except for a slight anxiety attack on the first day while watching them put the first medicine bag on.  First rule of thumb, don't watch the medicine go in! So, I don't watch anything and I've had good luck so far.  Of course, they put so much med. in with it, so you don't have problems, steroids, for nausea, to make the chemo work better, and for reactions; and two anti-nausea meds.  So, then when chemo is over, and those meds aren't in me anymore, I'll have some "chemo-down" days, when they say I will feel like I have the flu. That will be this weekend.  After that the blood-counts go down, so my immune system is depressed, and then it will come back up again, in time to start round two for chemo.  
So today, I am feeling my first changes.  I look like I have a mild sunburn, and I feel something at the back of my throat.  I was given a brand new product today, that is being used for mouth and throat irritations due to cancer treatments.  It is supposed to be used 4-6 times a day and then you can't eat for an hour afterward.  I have no idea when I'm supposed to eat, with that sort of schedule!!  
I've also started using my fluoride trays, which is a 5-min. session of fluoride followed by 30 minutes of not eating or drinking, but that is done at night, so it isn't so much of a problem., I have so much to do to my person with all this routine and medicine that I don't have time for getting much else done.  I think I need to make a schedule.
Anyhow, now I just go in every day for a 10 minute radiation treatment, the whole thing takes about 15 minutes, and we are on our way again.
Chemo starts again August 6th.


Oleva said...

Sure do think of you and wish you didn't have to go thru this. You amaze me with your postings and the "gracious" way you put things in perspective that are certainly not pleasant to face. We are pulling for you and thinking of you on a daily basis. Am thinking of you as a teacher in acceptance and patience. I need to do my homework!!
With loving care to you and yours.
Carl and Oleva

gkey said...

Dear Kleeb 3,

It was good to be with you tonight, your smiles are still so ready! Special to see you 3 all together.

Glad to have this first round over.

onward with courage

janis said...

Thinking of you a lot these days. Hugs to you!

The J's said...

Goodness, you do need a schedule in front of you all the time to keep things straight! Thanks for your posts!

Renee said...

Wow, this is overwhelming to read, let alone to have it being DONE to you. You are a brave and very strong lady, Shelley!! The Bible tells us many times; "and it came to pass." Think of that real often...these days of treatment aren't here to stay...they are going to pass and become history.
Love you!

Anonymous said...

I have never entered the Chemo side of treatment but have entered the radiation side. I was fortunate in that I swallowed an extremely high dosage and managed to just about elude all of the the warnings of dry mouth, sore throat, loss of taste sensory, etc., though I felt like I was in a prison cell for about 3 days. :P

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I sincerely hope that you can manage to stay positive and keep on keeping on.

What brand of protein have you found works best?