Day 0: the day of my last cancer treatment! Thirty-three radiation treatments, two chemo sessions, countless doctor/oncology appointments, in-home nurses coming and going, PICC line flushes, feeding tube mishaps, a multitude of transfusions and it comes down to this, my very last radiation session. Continue reading My Last Cancer Treatment! Bang the gong!
Back to Sunnybrook for my third and last chemo session. We go through the familiar routine of checking in, getting blood work done, then a visit with the triage nurse to review the results. We already knew from my second chemo session that I was not physically handling the side effects of chemo well, so we waited with anticipation (and a little trepidation) to see what today’s blood tests would reveal. Continue reading Third and last chemo session
This morning I received a package from Sunnybrook hospital. It was a large envelope containing a CD with some very interesting material. It’s neither good nor bad, but I’m 99.99% sure that most of you have never seen anything like it before. Continue reading The treatments are nearly done and I need a new mask
Bustling about the waiting areas and treatment areas were several kind-hearted souls. They gave of their time and received no compensation, yet they provided services that I gratefully accepted. They are the hospital volunteers. Continue reading Cheers to the hospital volunteers: I ♥ them!
You know, everybody knows the most common troublesome side effects of cancer treatment: the skin burns from radiation, the nausea from chemo, perhaps rapid weight loss (which is a good and bad thing), and sometimes-soul-crushing fatigue. BUT there is more to the side effects than that, and some of mine were positive! Continue reading Some positive side effects of my treatments
Along with all of the daily radiation treatments and in-home nurse visits, my busy schedule had to accommodate regular clinic visits as well. At first they occurred more than once a week, and then after treatment ended the time between visits was increased. It was important that every aspect of my health and other aspects of my well-being were monitored. Continue reading Clinic Visits
After the second chemo session and halfway through my radiation treatments, my ongoing fatigue was becoming worse; however, uglier side effects from my treatments gradually began to arise. Continue reading More treatment side effects: they’re getting ugly
Two weeks into my treatment schedule and it’s time for another chemotherapy session. Chemo session two, however, didn’t exactly go as expected. Continue reading Chemo session two: not as expected
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” This line is an adaptation from the poem “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns. It reminds us, as everyone is aware, that no matter how hard you try to avoid it, the unexpected can happen. And this was definitely the case when I experienced some radiation treatment hiccups.
Radiation treatment was damaging my voice box. The tumour had started at the base of my neck in my throat, and had made it’s way up to the voice box by the time treatment had started, and so my voice box was directly in the radiation’s path. I knew where this was heading, and I knew that sooner or later I’d have to communicate without my voice.
For the first few weeks of treatments you couldn’t hear any difference in how I sounded, but by the third week there were definitely audible signs that I was losing my ability to talk. How would I be able to ask for tea? Continue reading How was I to communicate without my voice?