Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Al just had his first visit with the therapist regarding his lymphadema. They want to treat him with message therapy over the next 3-4 weeks. He'll have to go 3 days a week and she advised him to take some pictures so that we can see the improvement. She explained that the radiation blocks some of drainage points. That will be great if they can help get rid of some of that swelling around his neck, especially since he is otherwise looking so slim!
We also saw the ENT doctor yesterday. Somehow we forgot that appointment last week. It was bound to happen with so many appointments. He said everything looks good and he will be now monitoring him every 2-3 months.
Al also saw the medical oncologist a few days ago and he doesn't have to go back for another 6 weeks. His test results show that he is still anemic, but the numbers did come up a little bit. He is still a good 4 points below what is considered normal. He is often cold, but his energy level is very good. They said his creatinine went up, which is not good for his kidneys. We're anxious to hear what the specialist says. That is the next appointment this month.
All and all, we are back into our old routine. It has been so nice to share meals together again. Al seems to be enjoying cooking on the grill. He is eating everything. His taste buds aren't completely back and his mouth and tongue still get irritated, but it's so much better.
I still have a hard time relaxing and often feel anxious and worried. We know that this could come back, so it's hard not to worry. I still have strange dreams. The other night, I dreamt that Al fell from a 2nd floor. I approached him while he was leaning on this railing and he said he was fine. Next thing, he fell and landed on his back. He said he only suffered minor injuries. It was weird. The other dream I have now had several times is of finding him smoking at some social event. I always grab the cigarette out of his hand, smash it and start screaming at everyone around us not to give him those because he just went through treatment for cancer.
Well, that is the latest update.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The appointment with the radiation oncologist went well. I would have liked to have been there, but didn't feel like dragging the kids along. Al said she didn't use the scope since the ENT will do that on Monday. She did look in his mouth and said everything looks good. She also said it looks like he is producing saliva already. She said that with most patients, the tongue depressor just sticks, but that wasn't the case with Al. She said that the Ethyol probably did work because most patients have success with just 3 weeks of it. Al got it for about 5 weeks. We'll know more in about 3 months. She also gave him a referral for the lymphadema since his case is pretty severe. She said they may be able to massage it or even drain it. We had previously been told that nothing can be done, so we'll have to check it out. And it is time to follow up with the dentist.
Well, time to get the kids ready for karate.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Things are going pretty well around here. The withdrawal from the pain medicine lasted about 3 days, so it wasn't really too bad. He is now complaining of tingling and numbness on the bottom of his feet around his toes. He experienced that on the tips of his fingers during treatment, but says it is very mild now. It's his feet that are now really bothering him. This is a side effect of the Cisplatin (chemo). We need to find out if it will go away!
His energy level is amazing. He did yard work over the weekend. He also cooks on the grill most evenings that he is home. He has been working on the computer, so his concentration is also very good. He put up a ceiling fan and did a few projects around the house. He says he isn't 100% and still gets tired, but I'm very impressed.
The food part is still frustrating. He says his throat is fine, but his mouth gets irritated by certain foods. He also has to rinse his mouth often because things get stuck since he isn't producing saliva yet. We're anxious to see if the Ethyol worked to save his salivary glands. We need to give it a few more months. He also gets up throughout the night to sip water. He says it feels so dry he could choke. Things don't taste right yet either. He says it's weird because the first bite or so might be good, but then it's gone.
But, overall things are good and we are happy he is alive!