Friday, August 06, 2004

Day 67: Status Report

Hello all,

I had to reset my expectations for my recovery ever since my radiation treatment ended July 26. It's all a lot slower than I hoped. I'm sure the Lord is working on my patience with this part of the process.

Often my chemo doctor has told me it would take up to a month for me to eat normally again. She thought I'd be eating some within a week, more within two weeks, etc.

But in these 11 days after treatment ended, I have been very disappointed that I have had little or no improvement in my ability to swallow or healing of mouth and throat pain. The good news is that by the grace of God I have gradually gained some peace and acceptance about it. Besides, as a Christian I should not be complaining about God's will for me.

Yesterday (Thursday) I talked to a dietitian about my troubles with the tube feeding. I never have adjusted to it, and it is very uncomfortable. My eagerness to eat normally again is mostly from my desire to be free of the tube feeding. Sometimes I'm just tempted to stop doing it entirely, but it's my only source of liquid except for IV hydration three times a week, and I think my healing would also be severely hindered by the absence of the vitamins and minerals the formula provides.

She told me that there aren't any other choices left for changing the formula, and that perhaps I should consult a gastroenterologist. I have a weird condition where my stomach doesn't empty for hours after I fill it, and I get bad indigestion and burning in my throat and I'll stop there with the details (for a change). I thought to ask the dietician if she has other patients who have throat radiation and how long it takes for them to get off the tube feeding. She told me that many of her patients who have similar treatment take six to eight months to return to normal eating

I cried when I heard that.

I was planning on starting to look for work again within the month.

If the recovery is really going to be that slow, I'd better make an adjustment to my work plans, to all my plans actually.

Maybe I should try to find a writing or editing job where I can work from home and not have to talk much, because my speech is interrupted every few minutes by my having to hawk and spit. So much for interviewing people on the job. "Hold that thought, I have to spit into my emetic basin. . . . Now, what were you saying?" Being on a job site would be a bit touchy. Someone walks into my office during lunch time and sees me hooked up to a feeding bad and a pump . . ..

I have a free gig writing restaurant reviews for the quarterly San Jose Northside Neighborhood Association newsletter. The first review, which I wrote three months ago, is being published this month. It's about the strangest little place called Birrieria Jalisco, which features goat stew and beer.

How ironic, restaurant reviews written by someone who cannot eat.

The next two reviews can be from memory of two more of the Mexican restaurants around me.

Got to work on my freelance stuff some more I guess.
Post a Comment