Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Random Bits

No specific topic today, just bits of random information.

Even though I'm almost completely tube feeding at the moment, I managing to get enough calories to hold my weight steady. My normal pre-cancer weight was 175-178 pounds on our home scale. My low point was just above 150. I'm currently hovering in the 153-154 range.

I've discovered that while the crappy taste in my mouth prevents me from eating anything solid, liquids are OK. I've been enjoying Starbucks chai tea lattes with whole milk for more calories (I sometimes get confused and order a tai chi latte). I can also enjoy vanilla Carnation instant breakfast. Somehow the flavor in liquids remains uncorrupted long enough to swallow it, unlike solid food.

I've assumed the bad taste is from the sinus infection, but earlier today I googled [antibiotic bad taste] and learned that antibiotics can, in fact, cause a bad or metallic taste in the mouth. Tomorrow is the last day of this most recent 7-day course. Maybe, if I'm lucky, the bad taste is due to the drug and will go away in a few days.

I've started keeping sugar free lemonade from a mix in a water bottle and sipping it throughout the day. Plain water tastes too bad, but sipping the lemonade helps keep me hydrated I think.

It's not clear whether the antibiotics are working or not. I seem to be a bit better. The colored mucous is lighter in color and less opaque and less copious. My energy level is up noticeably the past two days. I'm sleeping slightly better each night (last night i woke up at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30 almost exactly).

With past non-cancer sinus infections it was always obvious when it was resolving. This time not so much. I think one reason is that I still have residual radiation-induced mucous superimposed on the sinus infection.

I had a CT scan of my sinuses this morning. Doctor B the ENT ordered it during my visit with him last Wednesday. He wants to see the extent of the infection. I'm not sure what we'll do with the information, unless it shows something serious like the infection threatening to migrate out of the sinuses.

Last night the taste in my mouth was especially bad and I looked at my tongue in the mirror. The top was almost completely coated with a light-yellowish substance. Even though I'm still taking an antifungal every day, I wondered if I had thrush again. Antibiotics make one susceptible to thrush, and I have been on a lower dose of the antifungal. I stopped by my primary care doctor's office today (it's across the street from where I had the CT scan) and the nurse practitioner took a look. She does not think it is thrush. She took a culture swab and we'll find out in a day or two what it is. It could just be "antibiotic tongue."

A few weeks into treatment my beard and moustache began to fall out. A few days later I shaved it off. I have not had any facial hair since. The area where my beard would normally grow has remained soft as a baby's butt - like it was waxed or I had electrolysis or something.

Last week normal, course, dark beard hair started growing again in a couple of disconnected 1-square-inch patches in the moustache area. I've actually had to shave!

I'm planning to go to work on Thursday! Wonderful Wife has an engagement downtown that will take about three hours, which is perfect for my first visit to work. She will drop me off and pick me up. My normal commute involves an hour of train, subway and walking. At my current energy level I'd be pretty tired by the time I got to work that way. I'll work up to it. I'm excited to see my coworkers for the first time since early summer.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that nothing changes for the worse between now and then.

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