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For first time readers...my journey begins here: THE VERY FIRST BLOG POST (CC1)

Meaning of life

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." ~ Pablo Picasso

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Cancer Chronicles 14

And So It Begins!

Now that my schedule is cleared up, I have some time to rest before I begin the real radiation treatments. My first day is a bit unnerving not knowing what to expect. My techs are kind, understanding, and a bit young looking to be doing the job they are doing. When did I get so old???

My new best friend for 6 weeks

MD Anderson has over 20 of these IMRT (Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy) machines at over 2 million bucks each! They push through over 500 patients per day. I find them to be very organized and the waits in the lobby are usually short. Every Wednesday morning, for the entire 6 weeks, I'm to see Dr. Morrison to review what is going on with my body. I have another dietitian, my third. The first few weeks are suppose to be a breeze. I'm told the last 3 will cause me some major difficulty.

During our meetings we review my weight, how I'm feeling, and if there is pain. Before my radiation starts, the nurse I had when my tonsils were removed, Lydia, called and asked if I needed anything. She took me shopping, showing me everything I would need to make my trip down Radiation Road easier. We also stopped at a GNC store and picked up some Tahitian Noni Juice and some Aloe Vera Juice. Who knows if the stuff actually works, but it can't hurt. The plan is to take the Noni before radiation and the Aloe Vera after. She was a BIG help. Lydia had actually taught the radiation class I attended, in the past. I could not be in better hands!

During my first weekly meeting, I ask Dr. Morrison when my chemo will begin. His response is typical of my experience here. "You're having Chemo? I wouldn't do that if I were you." he says. "Are you sure? I was told that was part of my program. I'll talk to Dr. Clayman about it. I have a appointment with him in two weeks," I respond. I don't think any of these doctors actually read patient files!

I mention an odd problem to Dr. Morrison. I had a hair in my mouth. I had a hard time getting hold of it, but when I did it wouldn't let go! I mean it was attached to something! I had to take a good look in the mirror. I was unable to bring myself to actually inspect my new tongue until that point. I was flabbergasted when I saw that this stray hair was actually attached to my tongue! In fact there were a few dozen of them in there! HOLY SHIT! Am I gonna have to shave my tongue for the rest of my life? I proceed to pluck everyone of those suckers! No hairy tongue for this boy!!! NO SIR! Dr. Morrison assured me all the hair will be gone after radiation.

It only makes sense. I never actually thought about it before. They used my forearm to make the tongue flap. I've got hair on my arms. You'd think they'd at least do electrolysis on it before they put it in!

Another problem I have noticed since all this began in April is my right eye. I can't see very well with it. It's kinda blurry, like Vaseline has been smeared over it. My left eye is clear, without problem. Is it possible my cancer has spread to my eyes??? Dr. Morrison sets up an appointment with the Ophthalmology Department.

Because my last few weeks could be difficult, a very dear friend, Patsy has volunteered to fly in and help me for a week. I've known Patsy for years. She was a franchisee with Little Caesars also, on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. I haven't seen her in years, though we talk on the phone often. It will be great to have her here to help.

The next 6 weeks will be very hard it seems. I'm really not looking forward to them!


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Words To Live By:

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others." -Mahatma Gandhi