Chemo has caught up.
I may be officially done with chemo and radiation, but it appears they are not done with me. It's been a rough week. Suffice it to say the magic words nausea, cramps, vomiting, pain, more pain, and side effects, and you get the idea. The oddest side effect is what I call the "Burnt mouth effect". My mouth hurts as if I've burned my tongue. My taste buds act as if they, too, have been scorched. Eating and drinking anything has become a real battle against nausea. Swallowing is a battle against pain. It sucks. Keeping my pain meds down is a problem. Ironically the only thing that makes my throat feel better is a clove cigarette. Can that count as medical usage?
Three weeks ago something happened that I should have included in my blog but didn't. I was hoping the situation would resolve itself and it did, sort of. My immediate support network of help collapsed. The two people who had been helping with rides, medical paperwork, etc, completely and without warning stopped helping. Furthermore, one of them had my entire file of medical documents in their backpack and became impossible to contact. The reason for their sudden and inexplicable betrayal seems to spring from the mistaken allegation by one that I had become romantically involved with the other. I can't express the ridiculousness of such an allegation nor can I explain where it came from, but it destroyed a friendship and lost me an invaluable support network when I needed it most.
My brother to the rescue
About the same time my support network went down, my brother arranged to come visit to come in from Denver and see me through the last week of chemo and a week beyond. Like the cavalry arriving in the nick of time he was on the scene to go with me to my last chemo and week of radiation. His presence has not only been crucial in helping keep me functional, but the psychological joy of seeing him again can't be properly measured. Thank you Troy, and thank you to his wife Tara for making this visit possible. I know this has to be insane-crazy back home in Denver for his family right now with all three sons to juggle.
Meanwhile I'm working with my ex-wife to arrange having my son out to visit before my surgery. Fingers crossed: I want so very much to see him while I'm still relatively healthy before the main hospital adventure begins.