My Story, Part 2
A rocky start Sept 2016
The initial plan was to start chemo and radiation simultaneously, both targeted at my left lung where a very large tumor the size of my fist was, along with cancerous lymph nodes nearby.At the end of the first week, I woke up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in my left side and drove myself to the MD Anderson emergency center.
After a CT scan in the emergency room, the ER doc came into my room and said "I have some bad news.....you have pneumonia", to which I replied "Thank God, I thought you were going to tell me I had Cancer"
The real problem then became a cascading effect. The pneumonia was clouding the view of the people administering the very targeted radiation and radiation was suspended until the pneumonia could clear up. There's only one serious problem with that as follows: The radiation regimen was cut in half in days and doubled in twice per day treatments. Sounds good except the radiation coming in at 6 different angles twice per day meant that my esophagus was being bombarded 12 times per day.My esophagus became fried bacon and nothing would go through it either way. I told people in the hospital this was good news because the chemo wouldn't make me throw up since nothing could go up or down. There's always a silver lining.
They wanted to put a feeding tube in me and I made a decision that dumbfounded them, but I knew it was right for me. The year before I got diagnosed I lost 25 lbs (from 225 to 200lbs). I decided that at 200lbs, I still had a whole lot of fat stores to live off of, and I was convinced the human body can withstand a lot more than we understand.So I went for 8 weeks without any nutrients in my body, keeping my body hydrated solely by IV fluids. My weight dropped to 115 lbs and I was a poster child for a WWII holocaust story.From there, they also radiated my brain prophylacticly and even when my esophagus was healed enough for liquids to pass through, my taste buds had been altered so much by the chemo therapy that eating (and throwing up) were still an adventure for some time.A rocky start for sureBut I kept up the positive thinking and laughter.
The side benefit of being 5'10" and only 115 pounds is that my BMI was FINALLY in the green zone. LOL
After I lost all of my hair, I was taking a stroll through a Houston shopping mall and I'd noticed that in the middle of my bald head, there was one lonely long gray hair sticking out of the side of my head. For fun, I walked into a barber shop and told the barber "I need a haircut" Ha "Literally A hair....cut" He didn't charge me to clip my lone hair and we both got a good laugh out of it. Subsequently, when I make regular trips back to Houston for my quarterly scans, I go see my friendly barbers and tell a few jokes