Wednesday, August 13, 2008

DAY 77 - Another Day in Paradise

All of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.
Dale Carnegie
I have enjoyed life very fully but I still can't express how even the smallest details of our everyday life should be reveled in. As the saying goes, "You don't know the worth of the water until the well goes dry." I can't tell you how much I miss just being able to go up to Starbucks, sit outside, and have a mocha with a friend. Or shopping for ingredients for a gourmet meal, enjoy the prep, and being able to sit down with the family and enjoy the results.

Hump day in Week 6 nearing a close--just two more days of radiation this week. And then just eight more days left and one chemo (next Wednesday). It seemed so long ago when I started this ordeal. I can say with great assurance that when my taste buds come back and I can eat regular food, I will not have Boosts or oatmeal or pureed carrots ever, ever, ever again. I still have more weeks of it as nothing changes for awhile--so have to keep gagging it down.

The chemo/radiation still builds for awhile after I stop treatment. It is kind of like having a roast in the oven. Once you turn the oven off, your roast continues to cook and it is quite a while before you can reach into the oven without gloves. That is how I understand this treatment is. It may be a month before I notice any change in my mouth or taste buds (could also be a year-- -yipes!). If I am very lucky, I may notice a change by the end of September.

I have decided to hold off on the feeding tube after having watched the inspiring stories of the Olympics. I will give it one more try to make it without having it installed. Since I am almost to the end, I'm going to try to tough it out.

I had my weekly visit with the radiation oncologist this afternoon, and she said I was doing extremely well. She was surprised that I have gone this far without the feeding tube and have maintained my weight fairly well. She thought that if I haven't had the feeding tube installed by now, I probably wasn't going to need one.

My spirits are lifted a bit. My wife noticed that I am a bit cheerier tonight, with the tiniest of the tiniest smiles turning up one corner of my lips. I'm starting to believe that I just might be able to make it. There have been times in the past when I have not been so sure. Obviously, I have to make it, because there is no choice, but mentally one likes to feel one has a certain amount of control. I got encouraging emails today from my friends at work, from my sister, from my cousin in Oklahoma, and from my mothers-in-law. I appreciate the love and attention.

Song of the Day: Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water

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