It’s been a really tough week, as much mentally as physically. The one-two punch of interferon and radiation is nastier than I expected it to be. The malaise keeps me from wanting to do much of anything. I’ve been mostly reading and snoozing the last few days. I’m almost done with two of the five weeks of radiation, so knowing this won’t last forever is what keeps me going.
Nick’s commencement is on Monday, so I plan to juggle my schedule next week so I’m more alert for the festivities (I’ll delay my shots by a day). We’ll have family here for a little celebration, and it would be nice to be a part of things. I also intend to speak to the oncologist about reducing the interferon dose. There’s no telling what the optimal dose should be, so if I feel better at half the amount, I may go that route.
A couple of other concerns are gnawing at me. Now that I’m well into the radiation, there’s a serious prospect of my developing lymphedema—the odds are about 50/50. This condition can be disfiguring and painful, and it has no cure. It also can appear weeks, months or even years after radiation treatment. I’m praying that I can avoid ending up with a hot-dog leg. There’s nothing I can do to keep this from happening.
I also will need a follow-up PET scan sooner or later. I figured it would be better to get this sooner, but both of my oncologists believe we should wait for a couple months after I’m done with radiation. The purpose of the scan would, of course, be to find any metastatic cancer, should it exist. It’s a scary prospect as the discovery of more cancer would be very bad news. Meanwhile, I have to try not to worry about every little ache and pain I feel. I’m not succeeding at this very well.
I’m sorry if this sounds like I’m inviting you to a pity party. I hope to have something more cheerful to write about when I come out from under this cloud. For example, I could tell you about the bald-headed ladies I’ve been hanging out with at the cancer center, but that’s not exactly politically correct. I’m losing hair too, but not on my head. I’ll spare you the details.