The Great Cancer Adventure

November 04, 2017

- 2 min read

Today, I was discharged by the Radiation Oncology Doc, who I see on Mondays, even though I still have four more treatments scheduled. I have a follow up appointment in two weeks, just to make certain my body has begun to adjust from the 28 treatments. My last chemo is this Wednesday, and already I’ve been told by the Oncology Doc that I’ll see him in a couple of months for more tests and then, if indicated, next steps.

Indeed, my cancer having been detected so early, would suggest a happy outcome, but not only were we warned treatment is a grind, we were also warned that, far more often than not, a second round is indicated, because this cancer, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, is especially difficult to treat.(My urologist was looking for something which wasn’t there, but noticed something suspicious elsewhere; I was able to get an endoscopy done within a few days, as I’d already scheduled a routine colonoscopy for then, thus shaving off a month or so, which could have been critical to my recovery.)

In referring to the American Cancer Society’s list of common chemo side effects, of which there are 18, I’ve experienced the vast majority of them, the latest being held captive by my digestive system over the weekend, a time when I wore Depends and dark pants. It’s a relief to see diarrhea listed as a common side-effect. It’s also a relief to know the worst of this can be ameliorated with a common over-the-counter medication and to realize “tourista” is just another stop along the Great Cancer Adventure trail.

I really don’t have much appetite (another side effect) and haven’t had much for a couple of weeks or so. Fortunately, I don’t mind at all the taste of Boost and consume a couple of these a day. I’ve no taste for vegetables, fruit, sweets, coffee (which is astounding, for as much as I enjoy coffee!) or much of anything else, but I’m still interested in meat, such as bacon and pork steaks. Nothing even remotely spicy appeals to me, however. I seem to have lost the taste for that altogether.

Also, I wonder if I’m still feeling the lingering effects of some sort of bug which doesn’t have anything to do with cancer, for, even though I’m in the final days of chemo/radiation, the toughest part, I feel a little better than I have in a while. For brief periods of time, anyway.