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The long slog

When we first discussed the course of treatment I was going to follow my surgeon warned me that for every week of radiation it was going to take a month to recover. So sometime in April 2014 I should be feeling like my old self. Jeez.

I can’t begin to tell you how depressed I am after being discharged. In hospital you don’t have time to think about your lot. There’s always somebody coming in who wants to draw blood, or change some drip, or give you meds etc. Now at home the reality of how I felt hit hard.

My neck had a lot of burns from the radiation so that was fun for the first ten days or so – looked really gross too. That has cleared up now and my skin is as smooth as a baby. I hardly need to shave. I have some odd hairline at the back of my head. I haven’t bothered looking as I just don’t need to. Oddly, both my eyebrows have gone nuts and now I sport these curly old man eyebrows that shoot up into space. My hands shake more. They always shook but now it is very noticeable.

I still cannot taste or smell anything. Well I can but it is totally unrelated to how they really taste. Everything can have an odd chemical smell, everything. I try little niblets of food to see how they taste but they are usually foul. My saliva glands are shot so as soon as you put something in your mouth it dries up and makes it very hard to swallow.

My jaw, unless I am careful, can be clenched tight all day Something to do with the radiation and the surgery. I try and remember the exercises I need to keep it working right. That and the burns inside my mouth have changed my voice. I am much quieter and don’t seem to have the range i remember.

Maybe the worst of all is that i have to feed myself through a PEG device. Basically this is a tube that goes into my abdomen and through to my stomach. I feed myself a liquid food three times a day. That is what is keeping me going. I can have it removed after two weeks of only eating via my mouth. I pray for that day.

So there we are, the current state of affairs. I have started seeing a therapist and I have an appointment with a psychiatrist next week. I feel better today than the day I left hospital, but I still feel nothing like normal. I keep on having to remember that recovery takes time.

Oh the upside. I have lost over 50lbs. None of my clothes look right. We went to Nordstrom Rack yesterday and I got two beautiful jackets and two shirts. I have lost six inches round my waist. I look marvellous.

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