Saturday, October 20, 2012

A rash assessment

Whatever good the radiation was designed to do me is done. Now I deal with the aftermath. Chief among the side-effects is a complete loss of appetite, which isn’t helped by the salivary glands being temporarily (I hope) knocked out of commission. My hair continues to fall out and my scalp and ears are scalded. My mind is not exactly a steel trap, but I expected worse. I wouldn't say I’m on the mend just yet, but at least the daily grind of brain irradiation is over. Things will improve in time.

And then there’s ipi. I go for my third of four infusions on Friday. The rash it causes continues to be a huge distraction. The gabapentin may be helping, but not by much. I’m constantly itchy, especially at night. The only relief I get is from a warm shower.
So let me state the obvious to anyone else who’s gone through these treatments: The side-effects could be so much worse. I’ve had no headaches and haven't needed steroids for brain swelling. I’ve avoided the lower GI distress that most ­­patients experience with ipi. My radiation oncologist told me this week I've managed the brain radiation as well as any patient she’s seen. I’ll give my daily running routine partial credit for that and the many prayers others have offered on my behalf.

­­­My life has been stripped down to its essentials, and even that doesn’t include much eating. That’s not totally a bad place to be, as it allows me to live simply and to do no harm. It gives me time to talk with God. And I find my attention goes places it normally isn’t given the time to explore. I’ve followed the political campaigns this fall more closely than ever, which some might say is not exactly the best road to health. I probably killed enough brain cells with the radiation therapy without having to add to the toll by watching Presidential debates.

3 comments:

Paul and Karen said...

Thanks for the update. I'm glad your radiation is over.
Karen

Thandi said...

Though it could be worse, it's still not 'fun.' Just thinking of the itchy night time rash gives me fears of insomnia.

Nancy said...

It is good to read that the part of your brain where your sense of humor resides is unscathed. Watching the Presidential debates could take its toll on brain cells and hopefully in your case, any of the remaining cancerous ones. Stay strong and keep running - the Lord is at your side.