Monday, September 19, 2011

"I am in fact, a hobbit in all but size"

Dramatic improvement in the last couple of days. I have been craving pancakes for some reason. I don't even really like pancakes all that much, but the thought of them has been growing in my brain for days. I finally decided that I'd deal with it, so I tasted the syrup we have in the fridge and I could taste it! No more reason not to head out and get some.

As it was 9pm and dinnertime, we all piled in Kev's truck for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride to the nearest Denny's.  I ordered the Build Your Own Slam - 2 pancakes, 2 eggs, hashbrowns and sausages and a glass of strawberry lemonade. I should have ordered the eggs over medium, because over easy was too runny. I couldn't really taste it anyway. Shoulda got them scrambled so I could dowse em in ketchup as I did the hashbrowns. Those were good. The sausages were not. Old and chewy.

The pancakes, for which I'd craved, were light and fluffy, but the syrup was obviously imitation maple because, unlike the real maple syrup I tried at home, I couldn't taste a thing. This and the cakey quality of the pancakes made eating them a futile effort. Irony, that.

Regardless of the small disappointments, the overall mission was a success. My first real meal in 2 months and I could taste most of it, though, admittedly it was the ketchup that saved the meal. I ate everything except the sausages and half the pancakes. A little return to reality afterwards. I was fairly worn out by the time we got home, but still happy to be making improvements.

I have an appointment with Dr. Woo on Wednesday. I think he might take out my feeding tube. I have a long list of questions for him. I'd read a bit about lymphadema. Basically, since Dr. Rothman removed 27 lymph nodes from my neck, the lymphatic fluid that they usually carry away can build up and cause problems. Most of the stuff I've read pertains to breast cancer patients and I need to find out how it affects head and neck cancer patients. Breast cancer patients tend to have 2 or 3 nodes removed. Common problems are swelling in the arm on the side operated on, which is painful and is treated with tightly wrapped bandages that must be worn for weeks. From what I've read, it's not pleasant at all. I doubt this treatment can be adapted to my issues. Can't wrap my neck in tight bandages.

One of the therapies used to treat lymphadema is gentle, specific massage. The fingertips are lightly pressed to the area and moved very slightly down and towards the torso. The other thing I'd read concerned flying after node-related surgery. I'd only seen a couple of things related to this and need to ask if it's true.

I also have to ask when the PET scan will be and how long till the results are back. My dad wants to fly out for it if the time between the scan and the results isn't too long. The last thing I need to ask concerns my lack of saliva. The radiation and chemo pretty much killed those glands. They'll come back, but haven't so far. There's a product that's called Biotene, I think, a spray that acts like synthetic saliva. Part of the problem I have eating certain foods is this lack of saliva. Too dry and I can't swallow. Meats are the biggest issues in this regard.

Anyway, time for my second breakfast!

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