The thing that I'm the most grateful for in my very recent improvement over the last few days is my ability to eat. I've had constant nausea and no hunger for the past three weeks or so, and have been eating small bowls of cheerio's more than anything else. I lost a good ten pounds or so from where I was during this process, and can't afford to lose much more by my counting. Over the past couple of days, I've been able to eat larger portions of regular food and even enjoyed most of a steak sandwich for lunch. Not being to eat, not wanting to eat, even though you know you need to eat is harder and more painful than someone would ever guess.
The changes to my treatment leading to these improvements include radiation, chemo, new pain killers, and new anti-nausea meds. The radiation consisted of single high power hits to the large tumor on my head and a spot on my left side that's been pretty painful. The worst part of radiation was the preparation where they made a mask of my face from a formable plastic mesh which took about 15 minutes to harden while completely enclosing my face preventing me from opening my eyes and restricting my breathing. This all took place on an extremely uncomfortable posiition on a flat table for the CT machine. The actual radiation didn't take that long, and I had them cut out holes for my mouth and nose. It's hard to tell whether it is the radiation or chemo working, but my head tumor has already amazingly shrunk in size from a large goose egg to a small bump. It remains to be seen whether the outer results match what is going on in the inner half of the tumor (as seen from the MRI).
The chemo regimen they put me on consisted of two new drugs and one that I've had before. The two new ones came as a pill and as a fluid to be drank with grape juice (why grape juice I have no idea). It was simplier having treatment in this form than muliti-hour IV, but it made my nausea considerably worse, so we transitioned back to IV for my last dose on Thursday. I greatly preferred the IV route and was able to get a decent lunch and nap in which did wonders.
The next step coming up is scans and more chemo in a couple of weeks. But as we know, something will probably come up to upset that established order. I'm just hoping that I will be ok to get back to some normalcy in the short term and be able to keep my mobility up for the coming holidays. Until then, I'm going to enjoy the company of my family and friends the best I can while I deal with the bullshit that is cancer.