I am pleased to announce that I am finally feeling Monumentally better. The sinuses, and with them the ridiculous fatigue, are at last under control. Now I just have a sore and itchy trunk, a terribly sore throat, a fungal (thrush) infection in my mouth, and normal cancer-fighting fatigue. Despite how it sounds, this is an entirely manageable scope of health problems.
On Monday I have to see Dr. Radiation Oncologist again already. He will evaluate how red my skin is, and if it's not red enough, I might have to do more radiation. Just the electrons, I think. We followed an inflammatory breast cancer protocol for the photon radiation therapy, but there are no such protocols for electron therapy. Dr. Radiation Oncologist says that the electron therapy is "an art form". The goal is to get the skin good and red, which a sign that both ordinary and cancer things are dying under there, but to stop before the skin breaks down. With twice per day radiation, the maximum redness will manifest approximately one week after the last dose. Therefore we stopped the electron radiation at the same time as the photon radiation to give my skin time to worsen. And it is indeed getting worse. It's pink and splotchy, with a handful of pinhead pustules and streaks of new pigmentation. But it's not RED. So I'm appealing to my readers to meditate, pray, wish, or send positive thoughts that my left chest wall, from sternum to scapula, gets WORSE in the next two days. I'd appreciate it.
In other news, did you know that you can ingest aloe vera gel? My mother-in-law bought me a bottle, and I mix a few ounces with a glass of juice. I still take liquid tylenol with codeine for my burned throat, but the aloe vera actually decreases the remaining pain. This amazes me on many levels. The other thing that decreases the pain is remembering that I have a burned throat before I put food in my mouth. Sometimes I just want to casually eat something like a normal person, and it's not until my toes curl upon swallowing that I remember I'm not a normal person right now. If I just stick with the smoothies I am so much happier. I think my first healed-throat meal will be hard-shell taco night. Mmmm, real food.
And last but not least, pictures! My fantastic mother-in-law came with me to a radiation session and took some marvelous pictures. I'll put a few below, but please click here to view the entire radiation photo essay.
Looking great in films.