Well, the ten radiation therapy sessions ended Tuesday two weeks ago. On the following Thursday I met the radiation oncologist and reported that everything was mostly OK. She reminded me that things could get worse over the next week. And it sure did. Swallowing became painful, even if everything was chewed into oblivion. Even swallowing liquid hurt. Or swallowing nothing. Not a lot of fun. And a lot of coughing as food and liquid irritated my throat. That hurt. I was starting to worry. A lot.
I had an appointment with the speech pathologist last Friday. Right on schedule the pain started to diminish on Thursday. By the time I got to the appointment Friday I was feeling much better. The “speechy” was still concerned about my cough. After testing things out with water, thickened water, biscuits and two fruits, she felt that we should proceed with the barium X-rays. This involves eating and drinking barium laced food and liquid, to make them stand out on the scans. Scans are taken frame by frame so that they can track the progress of the food and liquid to see if it it going into my lungs. I was not really keen, but she won the day.
Friday I had coughing whether or not I was eating or drinking. Then miraculously on Saturday things improved. And again yesterday. I was really happy when breakfast this morning was uneventful (almost). So I rang the “speechy” and we agreed to abandon the barium X-ray.
How do I feel? Bloody wonderful. I did not realise how much this was taking out of me. Hopefully the pain and cough will stay away.
I am getting a little bit of volume back in my voice, but it is still a lot Batman/Rod Stewart, so a way to go.
The next step is to see my oncologist Wednesday next week, and my radiation oncologist three weeks after that. So, all is well in my world. Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil