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More Radiation and Counter Measures

Radiation continues 5 days a week, which becomes like a second job. This Wednesday it will be a full two weeks of going through radiation. Every day I wake up, I am hoping not to have any side effects from the radiation. Well unfortunately, some side effects are starting to show up, I was hoping they would hold off but it looks like someone has different plans for me.

Lately, I have started to feel extreme fatigue in the afternoons. It's not like an afternoon wall that most people hit. This is like a ton of bricks hits you and you can barely keep your eyes open type of fatigue. I spoke to my radiation doctor about it because I absolutely hate feeling that tired, so he suggested that exercise like walking would counter-attack that fatigue feeling. Also, in the next sentence, he said not to overdo it. Like with everything else I must find the balance. I have been going out everyday walking, which has surprisingly helped with not feeling fatigued. It has not eliminated it but it has definitely improved the situation dramatically. It has also made me feel better as well and able to get back to taking care of myself.

I have also began to notice that my taste has started to fade somewhat because I can't taste everything in a meal. When I eat an item the taste of it is faint so I can taste it, but it's not very strong. As you can imagine this really sucks because the reason I eat food is for the taste and obvious health reasons, but the biggest is taste. They say that my taste will probably come back weeks after I finish my radiation, so for now I will be eating to maintain my weight. I am allowed to lose 10% of my body weight, but any more than that and I will be put on a feeding tube through my stomach. As faint as my taste is right now, I am hoping it stays like that instead of losing it completely. I think that my taste will go completely before too long, but let's hope not.

Also, I have noticed that the right side of my tongue is starting to hurt. As a reminder, the right side of my tongue is the reconstructed flap, which I don't have any feeling or taste on. The fact that the right side of my tongue is having pain kind of freaks me out. At my next radiation appointment, I am going to ask about it because it's very odd that my pain is coming from there. I can start feeling certain areas in my mouth that are having minor pain with certain movements. The pain that is happening in my mouth is manageable right now without medication, which I am hoping continues to be the case. I definitely don't want the mouth pain to become worse and then it become difficult to eat and swallow.

I get episodes of dry mouth too. Dry mouth isn't constant, but there are times that nothing quenches my thirst or eliminates the dry mouth. It's not a fun feeling not being able to drink something to keep your mouth moist. Thankfully it's not 24/7 because that really wouldn't be fun, but I can manage it happening every now and then.

There is so much that I have to remember to do every day which can sometimes be exhausting. I have to do these exercises to maintain the mobility of my mouth so that I don't end up with a stiff jaw and not be able to open. I have to do my fluoride treatments every day so that my teeth don't start decaying. I have to rinse out my mouth with a special mixture 3-4 times a day. There is more, but I think you get the picture. I am a hot mess when it comes down to the everyday items I am required to do. Most of the regiment does not end when radiation does because most of this stuff I will have to do for the rest of my life.

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