Last week, the side effects were starting to show their ugly face. Well, for this week they brought their friends and are trying to take over. I was really hoping for these side effects to hold off a while longer, but I believe they have a different plan in mind. I want to go through each of these side effects so that you can understand a little better what is going on with me at this current time. The picture in your mind will not be pretty, but it's reality. (I just hope all of you don't look at me in a different light and start thinking that guy is NASTY! Lol)
Dry mouth - Let me tell you that this one here is a doozy. Think about the time that you went running, walking, biking, hiking, or whatever type of activity you like to do. Imagine that you are in the middle or the end of that activity and your mouth is so dry and you drank the whole bottle of water. You remember taking that first drink of water and feeling the dryness fading. That drink of water is hydrating your mouth and quenching your thirst. Well, I have the complete opposite of that glorious feeling of the water quenching your thirst. No matter how much water I drink, my mouth feels dry. It's terrible because you just want the feeling of the people in the Coca Cola commercial taking that drink and being like AHHHH. That is a negative on that one for me at the moment. Thankfully, I have started using a product called Biotene to try and combat this, but it only helps a little, which is better than nothing.
Fatigue - The fatigue is still happening, but I have been able to counteract it by walking/running every day. This has helped tremendously but is also improving my overall mood. This is definitely something that I want to continue and plan to eventually begin weight training as well. I do need to build my strength back up in my arms from the surgery, which will take some time. It's amazing how much of a difference exercise makes when you incorporate it into your day. Just in case you are curious, the dry mouth doesn't help with this venture at all. Lol
Mouth Pain - The pain in my mouth has started to increase. The pain is all over at this point, it hurts in my tongue, the inside lining of my mouth, and lips. Eating food is becoming more difficult and now I have to use condiments to make the food moist enough to chew and swallow. The condiments don't help with my mouth pain, but it's a necessary evil. When I do my mouth exercises, I can really feel the pain around my lip area. Each of the movements has a pain level attached to it, but I have to push through it and rise above it.
Throat Pain - This one started this week and has progressively become worse. If you have ever had strep throat, then you will understand this feeling. Whenever I drink or eat anything, it feels like needles poking in my throat. The throat pain in no way helps with the mouth pain. This is a terrible combo to have at the same time. I am hoping that this one doesn't get worse over the next 3 weeks.
The doctor did prescribe me a nerve blocker this week, which now I wished we would've started it before treatment. It usually takes a week for this to kick it and relieve some of the pain. Along with the pain, my appetite has gone away too. At this point, I am forcing myself to eat so that I can avoid having the feeding tube put in. The feeding tube is the last resort item, since I had this previously. I am hoping these side effects go away swiftly after the end of my radiation, but only time will tell.
Remember to always keep your head up and push forward no matter what size of obstacle is in front of you to tackle.
KEEP PUSHING FORWARD!!!
Here are a few quotes about pain and motivation:
"It is when I struggle that I strengthen. It is when challenged to my core that I learn the depth of who I am." Steve Maraboli
"Remember anything you want that's valuable requires you to break through short-term pain in order to gain long-term pleasure." Tony Robbins
"Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even through it's breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by if you smile through your pain and sorrow. Smile and maybe tomorrow, you'll see the sun come out shining through for you." Charlie Chaplin
"Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself." Walter Anderson
"Go down swinging. And I'll tell you: If you fight with all you have, more often than not, you won't go down at all. YOU WILL WIN." Jocko Willink