Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Can Has Cheezburger?

Major milestone achieved today: I put some real food in my mouth and swallowed it.

I had tried a bite of watermelon a few days ago but it didn't really count because I ended up spitting out the solids after I got all the juice.

Yesterday we had a follow-up appointment with Doctor Chemo. That went pretty well. We revisited all of the meds I'm still on: her advice was to stay on all of them but perhaps not for much longer. We meet again in a little less than two weeks.

Then we met with the Speech and Swallow Therapist. We've met with them a couple of times before and they gave a me a lot of exercises that I was supposed to do all along. Unfortunately, my repeated sinus infections and mucositis on my tongue kept me from doing many of them. Swallowing water or things like pudding was too gross because of the sinus infection mucous I would swallow along with it. And tongue stretching exercises were too painful due to the mucositis (and still are).

Instead of lecturing me for not doing the exercises, the therapist was encouraging and helpful in figuring out things I might try to eat and drink now that I'm feeling better. Especially with the sinus infection on its way out. While in her office I swallowed some water and it wasn't bad. In fact, it felt good on my throat. I also ate a couple of bites of apple sauce. As I've mentioned, the granularity of it is a bit unpleasant but she encouraged me to push through that.

Her words? "If it doesn't make you vomit and it doesn't make smoke come out your ears, keep eating it."

I suddenly realized while talking with her that between me and that cheeseburger I crave there are a lot of baby steps. And the time is now to start taking them.

So today I took a few sips of apple juice. That hurt the mucositis - apple juice must be more acidic than I expected. But bottled water went down pretty well. No mouth pain and only a little bit of swallowing pain. Then I tried some baby food pears. Those were alright, too.

The most encouraging part was that the horrible added taste that started with the second chemotherapy cycle appears to be gone. Both the juice and the pears tasted pretty normal. I even tried a little taste of alfredo sauce when the family was eating dinner and it tasted like...alfredo sauce!

I'm very excited. This is a huge psychological milestone for me.

I'll stick with liquid and smooth stuff for a few days. The next step will be to eat something that requires chewing.

I have been craving food more and more the past week or so. Wonderful Wife's parents are still with us and mother-in-law is a wonderful cook. Everything she prepares smells delicious. Soon I expect to be able to enjoy eating it! Yeah!

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