Today, I was discharged by the radiation oncologist, who I see on Mondays, even though I still have four more treatments scheduled. I have a follow up appointment in two weeks, just to make certain that my body has begun to adjust from the 28 radiation treatments. My last chemo is this Wednesday, and already I’ve been told by that oncologist that I’ll see him in a couple of months for more tests and then, if indicated, next steps. Indeed, that this was discovered so early, would suggest a happy outcome, but not only were we warned that treatment is a grind, we were also warned that far more often than not, a second round is indicated, because this cancer, adeno cancer of the esophagus, is especially difficult to treat. (My urologist was looking for something that wasn’t there, but noticed something suspicious elsewhere; I was able to get an endoscopy done within a few days, as I already had a routine colonoscopy scheduled the next week, which also was benign, thus shaving off a month or so.)
In referring to the American Cancer Society’s list of common chemo side effects, of which there are 18, I’ve experienced the vast majority of them, the latest being held captive by my digestive system over the weekend. It’s a relief to see diarrhea listed a common side-effect; to know that this can be ameliorated with a common over-the-counter medication; and to realize that “tourista” comes along on the Great Cancer Adventure. I really do not have much appetite (another side effect) and haven’t had much for a couple of weeks or so. Fortunately, I do not mind at all the taste of Boost and consume a couple of these a day. I have no taste for vegetables, fruit, sweets, coffee (which is astounding, for as much as I enjoy coffee) or much of anything else, but I’m still interested in meat, such as bacon and pork steaks.
Also, I wonder if I’m still feeling the lingering effects of some sort of bug that doesn’t have anything to do with cancer, for, even though I am in the final days of chemo/radiation, the toughest part, I feel a little better than I have in a while. For brief periods of time, anyway.