The last six months and with any luck not my last six months
I started experimenting with PE in July 2008. I found Thunder’s place in August and Joined In September. I got the newbie routine down good and appeared to be making gains.
Then on October 14th I woke up in the middle of the night strangled with blood in my mouth and throat. A similar incident happed a year and a half ago but I was awake. I went to see my doctor the first time and he thought every thing was ok but he suggested I get an MRI just to make sure, it came back clear. The second time because I was asleep it scared the shit out of me. So back to the doctor I go. He checks me out and can’t find anything. After a little insistence on my part he referred me to an ENT. I see the ENT on the 17th he checks me out and says I am ok. I insist that something is not right so he decides to use a scope to look a little deeper. He had the scope in less than one minute when he said “ah-ha” pulled the scope out and left the room. About five minutes later he was back and told me it appeared that I have an ulcer where my adenoids were located. He told me it could be four possibilities ulcer, cyst, benign tumor, or cancer. He told me as long as I had had some of my symptoms (5+ years) that I would already be dead. It turns out that was a poor choose of words. He was sure it was an ulcer or ruptured cyst and scheduled me for surgery on the 21st. The surgery was successful and they did a biopsy to make sure it was not cancer. I got the call on October 30th, Type 1 stage 3 nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The chances of getting this type of cancer in the US is 1 in 100,000. I guess I should have bought a lotto ticket.
Things started to happen quickly after that thing happened very quickly. I saw the radiation oncologist the next day and got my first CT scan and a schedule for everything else. I went to work on November the 3rd and 4th to try to get thing straight before I left. The rest of the week I got a MRI two CT scans and my mask fitted.
I started chemo on November 11th and had my first two radiation treatments on the 17th. I finished my eighth Chemo on December 30th and my 64th radiation treatment on January the 6th. My throat started hurting bad around the first week in December so they put me on hydrocodone, the next week they moved me to morphine. I felt great after that but every thing was a little foggy after that. Around the end of December, I started developing sores around my neck and by the first of January, I had close to a second-degree burn almost all the way around my neck. The burns healed quickly after the radiation treatments ended, just a few scars left. I quit eating solid food sometime in December and have just started some solids the last two weeks. I have lost about 30 pounds and currently still losing a little each week. Some of the casualties of radiation treatments to the head and neck are complete loss of taste and saliva. Everything tastes like cardboard (probably why I am still losing weight) and I need have a water bottle with me all the time. I think I might be starting to have some mild taste sensations but they tell me it usually take a couple of months for them to come back completely. I hope since I think I am having some sensations now that I will get mine back sooner. I would have never believed it but the loss of taste has bothered me more than the burns or pain.
After January the 6th, they need six weeks for my throat and nasal area to heal enough to tell if they killed it. Actually, there could be some left but if every thing goes well it should disappear is six months. I quit taking morphine on the 15th and stopped taking hydrocodone on the 21st. I do not have any real pain now at all. It hurts a little when I yawn or try to eat something spicy like chili (The only thing I can taste enough of not to gag on). The big day is February the 17th I will probably get a CAT scan and scope. If every thing looks good, they will probably schedule me for a PET scan to ensure I am clear otherwise; we will wait a few more weeks then get another CAT scan and scope.