My Cancer Diary

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Location: East Yorkshire, United Kingdom

I don't like having my pic taken so must apoligise for the pic..

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Treatment - day twenty

Tuesday 24th May 2005.

Last day...yeahhhhhh...

On Saturday morning I woke up at 12.30am gasping for breath it really scared me, after taking a deep breath it went away but for about an hour afterwards I was frightened to go back to sleep in case it happened again, no one had warned me that this could happen, I don't know what it was.

On Sunday I had to be careful because if I didn't concentate on the way I swallowed my saliva it went down the wrong way and I was coughing for ages but soon learnt the knack of how not to nearly choke

Monday's treatment day nineteen went as usual nothing to report.

Today is my last day so I thought I would take a few thank you gifts to the hospital, for the radiotherapy nurses I gave them a card and a large Quality Street cake to share out when they have thier coffee, for the staff in the heath centre I gave them a card with a donation in it, when Mary opened the card she thanked me and said they would use the money to buy coffee and biscuits for the centre and for the cancer nurses Mandy, Dawn ect I gave them a big box of chocolates to share between them all. They all wished me well but with me taking my dad over the next week I'll still be seeing them for a little while longer.

Before I left I had to see Mandy for one last check up to see if I had any problems that she could help with, there isn't any but she gave me her phone number in case anything crops up she also said she'd be making an appointment for me in 2 weeks time when I will be seeing the consultant at the Princess Royal hospital so that he can check that I'm healing okay after the radiotherapy then I'll have another appointment four weeks after that at Hull Royal Infirmary to see the whole team amongst them will be the oncologist and Mr England the ENT specialist I might have a scan or x-ray at that time to see if the cancer has gone but I'm not sure about that until my appointment comes through.

I guess this will be my last blog for a few days as there won't be nothing much to report on a day to day basis now I've finished but if I get worse with anything ( they have told me the 2 weeks after treatment has finished the side effects reach thier peak and I'll get worse before better) or as I get better I will write things down as they happen.

Many thanks to all who have read this hope it helps anyone who has to go through cancer of the larynx and the treatment of radiotherapy.

Below is a picture taken on day 20, my last day of treatment...

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Treatment - day eighteen

Friday 20th May 2005.
After taking my first lot of the stronger pills last night it was the first night that I'd had for a long while that I had quite a good nights sleep, I kept waking but I think that was because I'd got so used to it over the weeks that I'd been waking up but I wasn't in pain and I soon fell asleep again. Sadly I was in the middle of a dream when I was still woken up at 3.30am by my dad as he needed help to go to the toilet and I never went back to sleep again but I'm not complaining as that was a good time for me considering on previous nights it had been almost every hour I was waking in pain.
After today I only have two more days of treatment to go! where has the time gone? At the beginning of the 20 it seemed like it was forever and here I am now with only 2 left.
Got a phone call from the hospital yesterday about my dad's treatment. He goes on Monday to be measured up and marked out in the simulator ready for his treament to begin on Thursday. So I'll only get one days rest from going to the hospital before I have to go again for 5 days luckily after going for 2 days it's a bank holiday weekend next week so at least we'll get 3 days break between his treatments.
Will add more later if anything differant happens while at the hospital today, if not catch you after the weekend...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Treatment - day seventeen

Thursday 19th May 2005.
Went a little earlier to the hospital today as we took some books to donate to the health centre, they then sell these to the patients and their families to help pay for the coffee, tea and biscuits that they provide there free of charge.
After my treatment saw Dawn (cancer nurse) about the pain I was having during the night and she had a word with a doctor and he prescribed some stronger painkillers, as I've mentioned before, I hate taking pills of any kind and only under great persuasion from Mandy and the pain I was feeling that I agreed to take the lesser strong painkillers the other day so I will carry on taking the "normal" ones during the day as they help and take the "stronger" ones just before bedtime to help me through the night.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Treatment - days 14, 15 & 16

Wednesday 18th May 2005.
With only 4 more treatment days to go there hasn't been much to report for the last three treatments they have all gone smoothly. The only improvement was after being a "good girl" and taking my painkillers that Mandy insisted I take, the pain while swallowing has improved 95% even to the point where I ate a beef sandwich followed by chocolate sponge and icecream yesterday without having to put them in the processor first, I did of course chew every mouthful until it was like pulp before swallowing but it felt good to be able to eat it on my own so to speak. After taking my last allowed painkillers of the day they wear off later so I'm still waking up in the middle of the night where my throat is very dry and painful so I mentioned it today to Dawn another nurse and she said that she would have a word with the doctor and be able to give me something tomorrow to help during the night.
The only other thing that is getting a little worse but not bothersome is the redness on my neck, I just keep applying the cream several times a day more then they've told me to actually it's supposed to be three times a day but I think it's more like six! I put quite a bit on when I first get up in a morning as it's been without all night, then just before I go for treatment I put a thin layer on, when I come back I put another thin layer on, later in the afternoon another thin layer then quite a bit when I go to bed so that it lasts all night. But looking at it, it doesn't look too bad when I've compared it with others I've seen that's having the same sort of treatment, even the nurses keep saying how good it's looking considering at the stage I'm at.
My dad went with me today to the hospital because he had an appointment to see the oncologist to have a chat about what treatment he's going to have for his bladder cancer. Luckily there was only 45 minutes between our appointment times so wasn't hanging around too long. The doctor thinks it will be best for him to have 5 days radiotherapy and hopefully that will shrink the tumour enough to make him stop bleeding while peeing and make him more comfortable, I did ask what size the tumour was he said the report from the guy who did the camera into the bladder didn't say the exact size but he did say it was of a significant size and was starting to obstruct the tube leading from the left kidney, that is strange as dad hasn't complained of any pain on his left side but has his right so I asked the doctor what that could be and he said to be honest he didn't know as the ultra sound on his liver and right kidney had shown everything to be okay so far, so it has him puzzled.. Personally I'm thinking the cancer may have spread to his bowels and this is causing the pain, why I'm thinking this is that he's alternating between constipation and the runs for no apparent reason.

Below is a picture of my neck on day 16 of treatment...

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Treatment - day thirteen

Friday 13th May 2005.
After today's radiotherapy I'm into single figures with only seven more treatment days to go! But it feels like forever.
Last night I slept downstairs because I was in so much pain when swallowing even drinking water was hurting and normally I've loved drinking my water, I thought I wouldn't disturb hubby with my tossing and turning so made a bed up on the sofa luckily I only woke a few times during the night and putting the tv on when I woke soon helped me drop off again. Two of the cats thought their birthdays had come all at once as they both snuggled down for the night on the quilt with me..smiles

Once again treatment time was quick today but afterwards I had to see Mandy (cancer nurse) she well and truly slapped my wrists for not taking the painkillers for the pain and sore throat and also the medicine that I have to take 10 minutes before a meal that lubricates the throat so makes swallowing easier, if you knew me you'd know how much I dislike taking medication of any kind but after our little chat today and all the pain I've been feeling I agreed it was time I started to take them.
Now I don't know if it really worked or whether it was all in my mind but I took both the painkillers and the syrupy stuff 10 mins before lunch and I was amazed at how much easier it was to swallow, it was the first meal that I'd enjoyed for days admittedly it was only potato and leek soup with 2 rounds of bread added then processed until it was a mushed up mess but it tasted so good.

Here is a picture of my throat on day 13...

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Treatment - day twelve

Thursday 12th May 2005.
Very quick again today with no hold ups. Having more trouble swallowing, it's not that I can't it's just that it's so sore and painful I feel like I don't want to swallow, trying to liquidise all my food where possible if not then chewing it as much as I can so that it's as soft as it can be. Just wishing it was all over now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Treatment - day eleven

Wednesday 11th May 2005.
This is a post script from yesterday...
The hospital had arranged for me to see a welfare rights officer at 2.50pm before my treatment at 3.50pm to see if he could find anyway to help me get any benifits while I'm going through this and not able to work. As I walked past Mandy's (cancer nurse) room she saw me and asked if I had a few minutes to spare, she asked me how I was and was there any problems I told her my throat felt really sore and I could feel a lump in it. She told me exactly what the nurse had said yesterday about it being normal but she said she'd have a look just in case there was an infection then if there was she could give me something for it. It was fine and looked normal for what I was going through as she backed away she commented on how well my neck looked and that it wasn't as red as she expected it would be by now and asked if I was using the cream. I told her I was and she said that my skin must have good healing properties as it looks really well.
After we had finished our chat I went to the reception and said that I was very early because I was seeing someone else first but thought I'd better check in, the radiotherapy nurse said that they had got the machine fixed sooner then expected and that I could go in in 15 minutes, I told her that I was meeting someone at about that time, so she suggested that I go and tell them that I could have treatment earlier then expected and that she was sure they wouldn't mind waiting a few minutes. She was right, The couple we saw the other Saturday was in the waiting room, he was hooked up to a drip so I went across to see how he was doing. He'd been admitted again on Monday as he still wasn't eating and he isn't allowed to leave hospital until he does, he asked if I could still taste food I said I could he said hang onto it as long as you can because it goes and food just doesn't taste of anything at all. He also said keep doing that and he indicated to my bottle of water because he hadn't been doing it as much as he should and they think that is what is causing the problems he's having at the moment, my water bottle never leaves my side and never has done since I started my treatment as that is one of the things they told me to do and that was drink plenty so even when I'm at home I alweays have a drink of some sort in front of me. He also asked about the skin on my neck I told him it wasn't too bad and his wife leaned forward and said you can hardly see it, he said are you using the cream I told I was he said so am I four times a day and look at mine, he lifted his chin up and it was a really dark red, so is this something else I have to look forward to as my treatment progresses? As this was my 10th day and it was his 19th. I like to know how people are doing but seeing someone going through what he is and me having the same cancer as him it's something I could do without seeing. It kinda scares me and makes me wish it was all over with. Anyway, as soon as I'd finished in the treatment room I saw the guy I was supposed to see and was walking out of the hospital at 3.05pm!

Nothing to report today as far as my treatment is concerned arrived 10 minutes before my appointed time, was called in right on time and left ten minutes later, I like it like that..smiles..
The worst part of my day was when our GP came to see my dad, she told him that his cancer in his bladder had grown so that it's now inoperable, it's also spread to his liver, kidney and possible his brain it's also returned to his lung. She was really very good at talking with him and answered all questions and told him that even though they can't cure him now they would make him as comfortable as possible. There was one question he didn't ask so as my brother and I saw the doctor to her car we asked her in her opinion how long she thought he had left. She said that she couldn't see him lasting much longer than 3 months! Even though he is ill and you can tell he is he doesn't look "that" ill we're hoping she's got it wrong.