First off, we talked to the doctor on Monday (yesterday) and she is more than willing to write a letter telling the workplace that he will be back to work full time after about 2-3 weeks from his last radiation treatment. That will give him time to recoup some of his strength and energy before beginning work again.
Let's see, we noticed this morning that there are several small round patches on his face where he has lost his beard. They are not the size of a dime but almost. I imagine those will only get bigger. The doctors tell us that the "usual" time frame for symptoms to show up is around 2 weeks into treatment. Well, just for general info to anyone who might be getting ready to begin radiation treatment, don't be surprised if you begin earlier than 2 weeks, and conversely, don't be surprised if you make it to the third week. Everyone is different. Pilot Dad experienced nausea by his third treatment, the thick mucousy 'stuff' began earlier than 2 weeks, etc.
Besides the hair loss he has sores on his tongue which is caused my his taste buds trying to work over hard to do their job but the radiation is messing with them. His taste buds are changing. They had said that he might first think everything tastes sweet, then sour and finally, everything will taste like cardboard. Most things, especially water, is tasting metallic to him.
For the mucousy 'stuff' gargling with 1 tsp of salt, and 1 tsp of baking soda in 1 pint of water (16 oz) is crucial. It cuts the mucous quite well for a little while. He can swallow it and it doesn't taste awful and it doesn't mess up his internal system, or he can just gargle it. He is gargling quite often but it brings relief from the thick stuff. He is making up a jar to take to work to have on hand.
He still hasn't come up with the best way to sleep. The problem again is the mucous. If he sleeps on his back (or his side) he eventually awakes choking on the thick stuff. He usually gets up and gargles even though it disrupts his sleep but the relief brought on by the gargling is so good it is worth it.
Let's see what else is going on...hmmmm, his nausea is being controlled by medication so that isn't a problem now. I told you about the sores on his tongue but there are bright red spots covering the roof of his mouth and going down his throat. He is still making a valiant effort with his eating but we have bought a supply of Ensure to help boost what he may not be getting. We have ordered our Champion Juicer (Commercial grade) on line and it should be arriving by the end of the week. He is visibly wincing when he swallows so I think by Friday he will begin the pain medications.
We had a WONDERFUL weekend!!! How I praise the Lord for that! Jim managed to mow the yard on Saturday and plans to continue as long as he is able. We have lined up one of the teenage boys at church to come and do it once Jim is not able. (This is where we miss having Pilot at home!!! He was always so good to step in and do whatever needed to be done when his dad has been incapacitated.) We also ate Sunday dinner over at the parents of Pilot's girlfriend. Such a lovely meal out in their beautiful backyard under their pavilion. Warm and sunny with just the slightest breeze to keep us from being too hot.
One of the blessings which I have come to appreciate is the extra time Pilot Dad and I have been able to spend together. It has caused us to slow down and smell the roses! We are in the midst of redoing our home. We decided PD had to conserve his energy so we hired a pastor friend to do the painting. The flooring and counter tops should be ready to go in sometime toward the end of next week. The carpet has been ordered and should arrive in about 2 weeks and then all that will be left is to have the new furniture delivered. This all began before we ever knew it was cancer so we have explained the situation to everyone and they have been really great to work with us.
Oh my goodness! This has become quite the missive!! If you have persevered this far in reading then I salute you!! :)
In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; in Your rightousness deliver me...For You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me...Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth...I will be glad and rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul...But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, "You are my God." My times are in Your hand...Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; save me in Your lovingkindness...How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men!...Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD.