WBR Progress (?) Report

Today is day 7 after the last radiation treatment, and some new symptoms are appearing, and some other symptoms are continuing. The worst is the painful swallowing. I’m getting tired of soups and pureed food. But I know if I try to swallow real whole food, I will be screaming in a couple of seconds. I’ll just have to be patient.

We met with my PA yesterday (Tuesday). She told me I had ‘sunburn’ inside my ears and nostrils. Which would explain the soreness and itching. So far there is no blistering on my scalp or in my mouth. The back of my neck is quite red, though, with a couple of spots that look like they could turn into blisters. The inside of my mouth doesn’t have any ulcers or sore spots at the moment. She recommended I go back on the Dexamethasone for a few more doses as I was feeling so rotten yesterday. So I had an IV infusion of the Dexamethasone, and it did help. So now I will take 1/2 tablet every other day for three doses, and then I’ll stop.

Today my throat is much more painful. And then I had a bout of nausea and vomiting, which scraped my throat even more raw than it already is. I should have know better and put something more in my stomach before I took the Vicodan. But in my defense, I was desperate for some relief from the pain. I don’t think I’ll do that again! So for now, I’m managing to keep the worst of the pain at bay by using the Lidocaine-Maalox-Benadryl combo the pharmacy mixed up, and the Chloraseptic throat lozenges. Between those two, my throat is eased enough that I can at least swallow without wanting to cry.

I’m not as unsteady as I was, so that’s a plus, and the fatigue has eased up a bit. The skin on my face and neck is extremely dry, and my eyes are drier, too. My vision is a little ‘off’, and I’ve developed some interesting-looking floaters. I’ve had those before, and they’re usually little black spots that soar up and down in my field of vision. But there are a couple that look like little wormy shapes and don’t have a set path but just wander all over. I’m making an effort to remember to put in my eye drops that I was using before. My contact lenses aren’t working as well as they were, so I’ll just have to wait that out and see what happens. I think the chemo changed my vision a little, and the radiation has changed it some more. I’m not due for an eye check until April or May, so maybe by then, my eyes will have settled a bit.

Then there’s the roaring in my ears. It’s not ringing, but sometimes a high-pitched whistle that sounds like a whistling kettle, and sometimes a roaring sound as if there’s a waterfall rushing along in the next room. My hearing seems to be as acute as it ever was, so I’m not worried about that too much right now.

My left hand is almost back to normal, as best I can tell. There is still some weakness on that side according to my PA. I’m encouraged that my hand is better, because it means the tumor is no longer pressing on the ulnar nerve. And by extrapolation, I’m guessing that the brain tumors are shrinking, too.

I’m scheduled for a PET scan in 2 weeks, and then an MRI of the brain 3 weeks after that. And then we’ll re-evaluate to see where we are and how to get to where we need to be.

Onward and Upward.

17 thoughts on “WBR Progress (?) Report

  1. Ugh. I’d be all curled up in my bed sobbing with even just one of these afflictions, how you manage to keep moving through your day having to endure all of it at once is nothing short of a miracle, Ruth. Onward and upward indeed. ❤

  2. Yes, that would hurt. Double ugh at not being able to cry! You really are my hero, even though I know you didn’t sign up to be a hero. But you are anyway.

  3. It’s a little funny/strange to see one of my go-to drugs of choice (Chloraseptic) in your list of meds. But it’s wonderful stuff, and I hope it helps you along. Sometimes the “home remedies” and OTC cures can really help. It is good to hear about your hand.

    And I just caught your daily post. I’ll bet you anything you’re here next Christmas, too. 🙂

  4. lillytnin says:

    Wow, this sounds rough. As always, you impress me by how well you cope. One thing I don’t understand is why your throat is sore. Did I miss something? I thought the radiation was aimed up higher. It is encouraging that your left arm is improving.

  5. Angelika Schwarz says:

    Ruth, have you ever tried cold soups? I remember having a cucumber soup, that was so cooling and refreshing. I feel so bad for you, that you have to go through this crap crap crap. This is when the big WHY Comes in? What is all this pain good for? I guess just trying to Focus on the positive is all you can do,… and I know you do that, better than anyone else I know. Bless you.

  6. lillytnin says:

    Oh – of course. Now I understand. Wow, they really put you through the wringer! This may sound weird, but have you ever heard of drinking aloe juice? It is supposed to help with esophageal irritation. It tastes terrible, but from my experience I think it helped a little? I hope your throat feels better soon! It sounds so painful!

  7. Oh my, Ruth! It hurts just to read your list of symptoms. And it sucks that you can’t even cry. Keep up your valiant attitude dear lady. I know you can prevail. Can you suck ice chips? Is there any value in that? Can they give you medicated ice chips?

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

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