Friday, August 05, 2011


I guess this is what the doctor was talking about when he said it was going to be rough.

I have read a lot of stuff since finding out I have cancer. Some personal blogs, some informational stuff from cancer websites, some forums for people with cancer. None of them really go into what this stuff is all about, what to expect. The most that's offered are vague sentences about how it's 'difficult' or 'challenging' or simply statements which are nothing more than what the issue is called, like 'mucositis' or even less helpful, 'burns'. None explaining exactly what mucositis is like, how it affects you, what to expect, none going into even small detail about what the burns are like and how they affect you. There is certainly nothing about how the mucus builds up in your throat to the point where it threatens to go into your lungs, choking you. Nothing about how trying to sleep is nearly impossible because of this, or that the mucus accumulates so fast that you have to clear it out every 15 minutes or so or your throat and mouth are filled with it. Nothing about how the burns in your mouth make you gums swell up so much they feel like they're going to grow over your teeth, or how this makes brushing your teeth nearly impossible, certainly very painful.

I can only sleep for about a half hour at the most before I wake up and have to run to the bathroom to clear my throat out. Sleeping sitting up doesn't help at all and the sofa's too far from the bathroom anyway. I have a pharmacy's worth of medications to take for nausea or pain or allergies (to help dry out the mucus), for constipation because the pain meds give you that, but they're all pills and I can't swallow them and some I can't grind because they're timed release or capsules.

Energy to do anything, that's what I need. And some sleep.

Still, not as bad as surgery.


Olivia said...

I'm so sorry you're going through all this. I wish I could do something for you other than think about you and send you positive energy... you don't deserve to be going through what you are.

One thing I will tell you, though, is that you've made a big difference in my life simply by choosing to record your experiences in a way that mind not be easily found elsewhere. Reading about what you're going through has given me the kick-in-the-pants I needed to finally quit smoking, for good. So for that, I am so grateful. Not that you got cancer, of course, but that you've chosen to be frank and honest about what you're going through--and you didn't even do it to yourself, like I was doing it to myself, smoking.

You're a very, very, very strong, very brave man.

Guy said...

Thanks Livvy! It made me smile to hear I helped you quit smoking! That's so great. Thanks for all the positive energy. It means a lot :)