Little by little, things are getting better.
- My skin is no longer burned.
- After two months without it, my sense of taste has returned. The last thing to come back is the taste of sweet stuff, but it is back by about 90 percent.
- Although I had to go back to Houston once since I last wrote, I have since then started getting my treatments in Tyler. The drive time is considerably less! The cost of travel and the stress is less, of course, as well.
- My esophagus is no longer burned, and it no longer hurts to swallow.
A few challenges remain.
- My right shoulder still has little range of motion, and my right neck still suffers from stiff muscles known as “cording.” The cording is the worst. These cause pain, which, in turn, cause me to be tired. I have to take pain medicine to deal with this situation. The worst pain is in the morning. It’s hard to sleep with these parts of my body in pain.
- I still have very little energy. We successfully threw a party for my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary on August 1st, but I think I used all my energy for July and August both on that event. I’ve been resting up since then.
- I have a hair style that resemble a boy’s. Radiation killed the hair cells on my lower right neck, so I will never be able to grow hair in that area again. Hair further up on my head can grow and cover it, but so far it has not, leaving the hair on my neck looking lopsided. Hats will continue to be in my future for many months.
I am able to participate in a exercise program that cancer patients can be involved in for free. It is located at a local church, and it is like having a gym membership at no cost to me. It is about ten miles from my place to there, but I’ll try to go as often as possible, since exercise is considered a deterrent to cancer recurrence. I worked out there yesterday and have not had an ounce of energy since. It will take awhile to build up my energy.
When I finished radiation at MD Anderson on July 3rd, they got me to ring a victory bell. It didn’t mean that all my cancer treatment was finished, it just meant radiation was finished. But radiation was a BEAST, and many consider it quite an accomplishment to get it out of the way successfully. Here you can see me ringing the bell while my radiation technicians look on.
I was so happy that I didn’t even care that the colors of my hat and top clashed. 🙂