“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?
The first couple of weeks of treatments were uneventful. A little nausea after the chemo treatment, and some pain across my collar bones and into my underarms from the tumour. It was definitely nothing that a few painkillers and anti-emetics couldn’t remedy. It was shortly after that when I started to feel the side effects from radiation treatment that I’d been warned about.
Continue reading Starting to Feel the Side Effects
Once word got out that I had cancer, there was such an outpouring of love, support, and well wishes that I just have to share. At first only family and close friends knew of my diagnosis, but as word gradually spread I experienced a tidal wave of well wishes. Continue reading Well Wishes
My last post was before Christmas, and I said my next post was going to be about the mountain of well wishes that I’d received. And then, I disappeared until now. Can you guess the correct reason? Continue reading Why haven’t I written in a while?
Using and taking care of my own PEG feeding tube wasn’t hard, but I did have a few goofs even though the Dietician explained to me what I needed to do (I was a captive audience during my first chemo session). Here I’ll talk about some tips and some necessary maintenance tasks . Continue reading Using and taking care of my own PEG feeding tube
After I experienced complications with my PEG tube, my first chemo session was delayed. I had already met with my Chemo Oncologist so I already knew that I would be given high-dose Cisplatin, and I knew what the possible side-effects would be. I also knew that the procedure would take six hours at least. I knew that I would have three chemo sessions and the dates that they were scheduled for, and that it was important that I attempt to make all of my chemo appointments. The only thing I knew nothing about was the actual procedure itself. Continue reading My First Chemo Session
Last time I wrote about getting my feeding tube (PEG tube), and I ended up being admitted to hospital for complications and observation. This post is a continuation of that post, and it picks up the story on the morning after the procedure.
Warning: more non-sugar-coated descriptions, and a photo of the finished product that some sensitive users might find unsettling. If these things bother you, please don’t read any further.
By the time I saw the Oncologist, I was already having great difficulty swallowing and my larynx was very narrow. For this reason he highly recommended that I get a gastric feeding tube, called a PEG tube (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy). The typical risks of this procedure include infection and soreness after the procedure. Due to the location of my tumour, what I experienced was far from typical. Continue reading Getting my feeding tube (PEG)