Thursday, June 26, 2014

New Pants

It's been way too long since I've posted.

I'm still here!

And I have new pants! That fit!

The chart is of my weight over the past year. As you can see it's been holding very steady ever since it went over a cliff at the end of treatment.

I actually quite like my new weight. Although I wouldn't recommend the diet plan.

My clothes were all pretty loose. A month or so ago I realized I wasn't going to gain that weight back any time soon and I'd enjoy wearing clothes that fit. So I've bought a few pairs of pants that are a size down. I've even bought a couple of size small shirts that fit (I've worn medium most of my adult life).

My sense of taste is returning ever so slowly. I'd say it's maybe 40-50% of normal. I can taste savory and salty flavors the most, and some foods in those categories I can even taste all the way through a meal.

I can hardly taste sweetness at all. And it goes away after a bite or two. Ice cream is particularly unenjoyable. Although I'm getting a little pleasure out of some types of candy.

I think the saliva might be coming back a bit, too - but not much. I usually drink 2-3 large glasses of fluid with a meal to wash it down.

I make a lot of trips to the bathroom these days because of all that fluid intake. I still feel thirsty most of the time.

I've been eating the same breakfast almost every day since I first started eating again: a big bowl of cream of wheat, a piece of toast with Nutella and the crust cut off, and a glass of orange juice. I put a ton of brown sugar in the cream of wheat but still can barely taste the sweetness.

Lunches on workdays have also become a normal sized meal. I can make it through a sandwich or a rice bowl with meat. I'll try most anything these days. All that chewing and mixing with fluids in order to swallow makes me a very slow eater. And if I go out to eat, for example at a food truck, I have to make sure to get enough fluid. When I run out of fluid I have to stop eating.

I just went to Dana-Farber for my most recent bi-monthly surveillance visit this week. All clear.

For the first time, Wonderful Wife didn't accompany me. She had another conflicting appointment. It so happens I had just seen my ENT last week and he had scoped my throat so we knew there wouldn't be any unpleasant surprises at Dana-Farber

I saw Dr. B the ENT because my ears feel full, like there is fluid in my eustachian tubes. He couldn't see anything obvious. Radiation to the neck can cause scarring in the tubes and constrict them, causing them to drain improperly. In addition to the feeling of fullness and even more decreased hearing I also have increased, thick mucous in my throat that started in March or April. I have to spit it out several times a day. The Progeny do not appreciate it.

Dr. B sent me for a new audiogram (hearing test) because that can indicate if there is an inner ear problem. The results were identical to the audiogram I had in November so inner ear problems are ruled out.

I'm now on Flonase on the theory that the mucous is allergy related. I'll try that for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference.

I have some other news, but I'll just tease you for now and promise to write another post soon.

The lack of posts recently is the result of being very busy. That's a good thing. It's normal.