Today we spent some of our time cleaning, repairs and generally tidying up.
I feel the need to address one of my recent posts where I casually mentioned chemo treatment would be in our very near future. Well, not all of you read it that casually. We sincerely feel that this is a precautionary step only. I’ll relate back to Dr. G. in the valley when he said ‘We’ve got one shot at this – let’s get it right!’ We’re sure the doctors and professionals that we are dealing with here don’t want to look back and regret that they hadn’t pursued the chemo while they had the chance. The positive note from that same meeting is that they have decreased the amount of radiation treatment by 10 days. Instead of looking at April 30th as the last date we are now looking at April 20th. Mind you, that is still all subject to change but we are hoping that it doesn’t.
We did slip out for a while today to do some shopping. MD has been educating us and we’ve been learning about some of the side effects to expect while The Cowboy is receiving his radiation treatments. They all vary, of course, depending on the individual but we are trying to arm ourselves with anything and everything we may need to ensure that he will be as comfortable as possible.
Since the radiation will be focused on his neck and throat area his skin will become very sensitive and appear ‘very sunburned’. One of their suggestions is Aquaphor healing ointment so that was one of our purchases along with an electric razor.
There are several major issues, one of them will be his loss of appetite, the other will be nausea. Their biggest concern is weight loss so we are stocking up on protein drinks and other products that will help nourish his body – keeping in mind that his mouth will be sore and he will only be able to swallow soft foods. He loves ice cream and jello and I enjoy making soups. Plenty of liquids of course to keep him hydrated and then we get into the Metamucil or fiber drinks, Milk of Magnesia and prune juice. Another item on their list was diet ginger ale – flat, with no bubbles.
They’ve also told us that some foods may take on a ‘tinny’ or metal taste so they suggest using plastic cutlery plus drinking through a straw will make it easier for him to swallow. Simple things really, like a baking soda and salt mouth wash instead of toothpaste.
All of these steps are easy enough and these people seem to have done this a time or two. We are going to follow all of their recommendations and really concentrate to make sure that his recovery is quick and we can get back to our families and friends in Ontario.