I recently found my care pages online from when I was sick. I wanted to share some of the unexpected things that I wish someone would have told me to look for when I was sick. I will share more later but for now I will share the worst part of the whole cancer experience. Don’t think it is all bad though. I remained positive throughout the cancer experience and leaned on my faith and that is the reason I am still here. I stay positive today and this is how I will stay healthy (well along with a good diet and regular exercise.)
The worst part was the unexpected; the things the doctors didn’t tell me about. The least expected of the whole head and neck cancer experience was the deterioration of my throat. I remember what the doctors called secretions coming from my throat. Secretions are what I call flesh, blood, and deterioration of the tissues in the throat that came out in long strands. Sometimes after minutes of pulling these disgusting strands from my throat I would vomit and pull more strands. This happened weeks into my radiation treatments and continued for months after treatments were over. Radiation burned my throat from the inside out. I still have scaring on the outside of my throat. Just a warning for those about to endure radiation; it burns the radiated area inside and out. It’s like putting meat in the microwave. It burns. However, keep in mind there are things in life we have to endure. If you want to live endure the treatments with a smile and it will be over soon! Hang in there. It is worth it to have a second chance at life.
There were other unexpected things that happened as well. Flu like symptoms and the constant pain that were side effects of the chemo treatments were something I didn’t fully expect. Vomiting and nausea yes, but every part of my body ached. I went from feelings of extreme cold to hot flashes. There wasn’t a time when I felt comfortable. I was hot and cold at the same time. It was summer and I couldn’t go outside because it was too hot. I couldn’t handle the air conditioner on too cold because I got cold and achy. My caretakers and family couldn’t handle the heat so we kept the air on and I kept myself bundled in a blanket with my feet sticking out. This seemed to work for me. Remember, endure with a smile. Think about things that make you happy and things you are going to do when you feel better. Look to the positive and fight fight fight! You can do it! I’ll write more later.