Back again! We, Diane and I, have been through a very rough period both physically and psychologically. My weakness continued and early this week I developed bleeding in my nose and mouth. Luckily that went away - but at the same time I was so week I couldn't stand up. This lead me to become extremely depressed.
We went to see my surgeon to find out about the bleeding and the white fungal type stuff in my trachea's stoma (the hole in my throat.) The news was quite simple - the disease has progressed and the white area is disease with perhaps an superficial infection, and the bleeding was coming from more disease at the back of my mouth & nasal passages.
While this may sound terrible, it was good to know what was going on.
The surgeon suggested I have a "peg" (feeding tube) put in to avoid using my mouth for food. i decided that I didn't want another surgery now and would add the weight orally.
The remarkable thing is that once we'd made the decision and emailed my palliative care doctor about the weakness and depression, we felt we could make a plan with his help.
Add weight with a concerted diet of Carnation Instant Breakfast Very High Calorie cans (560 cal each) mixed with peanut butter, oil, and ice cream. Start taking a stimulant, Ritalin, to make me feel stronger, more energetic, and increase my appetite. And approach my chemo Dr to go back onto chemo to slow the disease again.
Remarkably the next day I was stronger, had a 2700 calorie day, and felt like the extreme depression (almost suicidal) was lifted! Perhaps it was just the little pill - or maybe it's my natural state and I needed help getting there - but my mental transformation is so remarkable that I can hardly believe the thoughts I was having before.
My palliative care doctor, Stewart Fleischman, pointed out that cancer can do that. It can both sap your strength and medicinally create depression.
But it feels great to be back fighting!
Oh! And here's a great little discovery from last night: I can use my wedding ring to open my left eye! i take it and put in right over where my pupil is, which holds the swollen eyelids back allowing me to see out of two eyes at once!! I'll try to find rings that work even better that I can put in both eyes. It may look odd but from inside it makes the world so much brighter!
Of course, I have to tell you that our ginger cat, Poe, was very attentive throughout this whole episode. If I was on the bed, he'd be there. If I was on the couch, he'd be above me on the pillow, and he silently followed me around for several days. Very sweet! So again I say to you " Yes, it's a great day!"
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