Now the Fun Begins

Well, it was only a matter of time but I was hoping it might take a little longer. The side effects of the radiation are starting to make themselves known.

For the last two days I’ve had this annoying little tickle in the back of my throat. It not painful yet but it does feel like I constantly have to clear my throat. The problem is, if I cough or try to clear my throat it will ultimately only make matters worse. Solution – Drink More Fluids.

I feel like my bladder is an overworked reservoir already. I’ve been drinking about 2 liters of juice and the equivalent of 3-4 bottles of water each day, but they tell me it should be 5-6 bottles of  water and I can crank up the juices as well. Interestingly, coffee seems to silence the tickle the best and the longest; however, drinking too much coffee has its own issues.

The juice thing is interesting as well because citrus is off-the-table.  Seems that the acid content in citrus juices like orange and lemonade will only add to the irritation. So will alcohol, so alcohol based cough syrups and the like are also a no-no. So, of course, is Mr. Jack Daniels. Now while Jack and I don’t socialize overly regular, he does sing me a lullaby once in a while when I have trouble sleeping. Have to find a new song I guess.

So far Halls lozenges are doing some good, but most of us suck on them between our tongues and the roof of our mouths. With my new dentures however, that’s proving hard to do as the roof of my mouth is now covered in a layer of acrylic. Still a learning curve involved here.

So we are left water-logging my insides and of course continuing with the baking-soda mouth wash and gargle.  There is a new player on the team however.

Many of you are familiar with the antacid Maalox®. Well, in my regimen it will now be double-teaming with a thick clear liquid that goes by the name of Xylocaine® Viscous. It’s a 2% solution of lidocaine hydrochloride, an oral anesthetic. We mix the two 1:1 and while the Xylocaine numbs my throat the Maalox attempts to mask the flavour some and keeps my stomach from rejecting delivery. It tastes slightly better than liquid chalk but does seem to quiet the tickle in my throat for a while.

There’s one other wrinkle as well. It seems that there’s a few issues with the Volunteer Driver Program at the Guelph branch of the Canadian Cancer Society. The people are still the greatest and I am very glad for all their help, but it seems they have lost and will be losing a few drivers, and also they are looking for a new dispatcher. We are still relying on them for  most of my transportation however, I would like to ease their burden a little if I can.

The link below will take you to a copy of my radiation treatment schedule I’ve posted online. Now, I don’t want anyone to go out of their way, but if you are available for about 3 hours during the day and find the idea of driving to Hamilton with me less than tortuous, then please pick one (1) of the dates listed when you can do me the favour of driving me down to the Juravinski Cancer Centre for one of my appointments and let me know by leaving acomment (link at the end of this post) so that I and anyone else reading this knows which dates have been spoken for. Then we’ll only have to trouble the Cancer Society for the one’s you wonderful people can’t help me out on.

Again, the folks at the Canadian Cancer Centre are great and I don’t want you to think for a second that they aren’t. But if I can reduce my need to rely on them by driving down with a friend or two along the way, that would leave their volunteers free to help other people.

So if you’d like to help out, I’d love to spend a little time with you as well. If you can’t or would rather not, no worries. I understand and am glad for the fact that you care enough to even read this. (I’m still astounded at the number of you out there who do.) As I said before, just follow this link and leave a comment on which day you can help.

Link to My Radiation Schedule

Anyway, that’s it for now. I offer you the following quote and leave you to ponder the ramifications for me traveling through any American ports in the near future.

The technology used to detect if vehicles are carrying radioactive material is so sensitive it can tell if a person recently received radiation as part of a medical procedure. Timothy Murphy


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