Today we go to the Radiation clinic as usual.
My husband's throat on the inside burns like fire. On the outside, it looks like he's been in a fire. The fires of Hell.
I would love to show you a picture, but after snapping a very graphic photo of it with my iPhone, I realize that it's so horribly ugly and mean looking that others that may read this blog for advice or searching for answers for a loved one going through this exact treatment might scare them so badly that they will not take the treatments at all.
It's bad, really really bad.
The skin has gotten so dry and cracked and seeping blood and that is on the outside. Weeping. I can't even imagine what it looks like or feels like from the inside.
(I will never complain of a sore throat again in my life)
Sipping water has gotten to be a real challenge and so much pain that I see him wince as he swallows. One sip. He tries to hide it from me but I see it and have to leave the room.
He still has his pride.
I continue to have great hope here but today we were told not to take the radiation treatments for 3 days to allow this area to heal. The doctor told us today that the skin will get worse. Much worse.
It's like someone laid out in the sun with only their neck exposed for 10 solid years with no sunscreen. We are given so many prescriptions for pain: Mary's Magic Mouthwash, Lidocaine Elixir, Esophagitis Elixir, Lortab pills, Lortab Elixir. All are liquids to go into the G-tube or pills to be crushed.
The skin is purple, broken, dry and seeping.
We are sent home.
Counting the days until this is over and these last 9 treatments may either make him or break him.
Meet The Mask~
This is the Dreaded Mask my husband hates so much. The mask is necessary to get exact pinpoint results for the beams to hit their targets.
They form-fit the mask very close to your face then place it on you. You can not move or blink your eyes. Then, they clamp you and the mask to the table, chain your arms to your sides and treatment begins. No movement.
35 - 40 minutes. 17 different angles.
My husband is very claustrophobic and despises this damn thing.
I would too.
9 more radiation treatments and two more rounds of chemo then we play the waiting game...
Let's not go there today. Recurrence and surgery options have become like swear words to me. I refuse to have them in my house or near my brain.
Cutting off your entire bottom jaw, tongue, voice box and half your neck? Nuh-uh. Not thinking about that today.
There is a man we know that we see every day at the radiation clinic.
He has brain cancer. It's odd how he found out that he had it.
He was in a restaurant and had this overwhelming need to flee.
Some super-anxiety attack? No.
It happened several more times in the week that followed. He would be out or even at home sitting in a chair and this horrible anxiousness and fear to run would completely take over and he would literally run away.
Then the seizures came so he went to see his family doctor. They did the scans, PET, CAT and MRI scans and found he had a tiny pea sized tumor on his brain.
Why the fears and anxiousness? The tumor was on the part of the brain that signals "Flight or Fight." Adrenaline would go into overdrive and he would feel as though he was in a burning building. His urge to flee would provoke such fear. Complete fear.
They removed the tumor but told him his chances of survival are 0%.
This isn't just some random man that we know but a friend. My husband has known him since grade school.
We have the next few days to heal and wait. Then those last nine treatments and two chemo rounds face us.
After that, the waiting begins....