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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Catching up

Monday, August 7: Today went very well, not like Friday. Friday sucked rocks, and I spent the weekend extrapolating that experience to the next 30 some-odd sessions...and getting pretty depressed about the whole experience. Friday's issue - I wasn't getting placed the way I should have been for correct radiation. The best moment during that long session was when the radiation therapist touched my arm, and reassured me that it wasn't my fault, it was just that they had to make sure the measurements were correct before proceeding. That did a world of good for me! Another problem I had was trying to keep my hip from hurting while stretched out on the table. They give you a bolster to put under your knees, but it wasn't giving me enough help. I toughed it out. Still another issue on Friday was that I tried using earplugs to keep the loudest part of the machine noise out of my ears. Bad decision - it ended up being WAY too much sensory deprivation! Today was slick - everything fit, stayed where it was put, and I left out the earplugs. Oh, and I took Motrin about 2 hours before, so my stupid hip wouldn't hurt while on the table. Nice that I got so comfy while that sharpshooting radiation machine could lambast me with ease (grin!). My husband and I saw the doctor today. He showed me the image map, proving to my little heart that my right cheek (parotid gland) should recover - it will only receive about 10% of the total radiation. He said I was already starting to turn red - I didn't know I was that fair-skinned. I asked the doctor how he would be able to tell if he did a good job, and he honestly said he would never know. The cells they are after can't be seen or tracked. All that is hoped with this treatment is that I don't get the tumor back in the primary area. The nurse today was very pleasantly surprised to find out that I have been doing flouride treatments for 2 weeks already. She really grinned when I asked for 16 tongue depressors, since she didn't figure I knew to exercise my jaw to fight lockjaw (the radiation will reduce the fluid in my joint, so they think exercising it will help keep it flexible). I might have to do a photo shoot for Make on how to create one of these tools... After proving to her that I knew that I must maintain top nutrition and that I wasn't looking to lose weight while doing the radiation, she said that I was one of the most proactive patients she had run into lately. (Thanks, CHIRS!) My goal is to stave off neutropenia (I think that is the term), where I lose immune system and they have to postpone radiation until I get my strength back. I don't want them to have to do this any longer than we have to. One supplement that I have been looking into is the whey protein shakes that body builders use. That has so much more usable protein in it with little carbs or sugars, and no soy. (I can't have soy.)


Anonymous said...

Just checked into your blog and want to wish you the best. I think attitude has everything to do with success and that being the case you should come out smelling like a rose. Keep up with the good nutrition and get lots of rest. As a survivor I'm praying for you.
Michlene in Wyoming

Teresa Hartman said...

Thanks so much, Michlene! Here's to great times for all of us survivors in the very near future!

Michelle said...

Can you advise what good nutritional practices you thought were esp helpful. One other patient recommended Goji juice. I didn't know about the fluoride or exercise the jaw. Thanks. My oncologist thinks it wont affect my teeth but I will still see my dentist his opinion and get one treatment at least! Thank you so much for your practical advice. I want to pass the things I find helpful too to my readers - not that I have much response yet, but hey even one makes it all worthwhile, which is why I am making sure you know of my appreciation each time I find something particularly relevant!

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