Sunday, June 27, 2010

#204: Yuck. (Not for the Weak Stomached)

Didn't make it to church today. I was feeling a little weak, and Mrs P made an executive decision.The sore throat that the radiation doc promised has arrived, and my soft palate feels like I'm rubbing it with sandpaper whenever I swallow. Last Sunday I went and sang my heart out. This week, I can still talk, but the throat feels like it could blow up any minute. I'm not intending to gripe exactly, but I've been pretty open about everything else so far, and who knows but some future survivor might stumble on this and need to know that they're not alone.

See, the trouble with not being able to swallow is that the RAD is cooking my salivary glands. Turns out you have two kinds of saliva, thick and thin. I seem not to be making the thin kind any more. That means that the back of my tongue is coated with (sorry) this thick slime all the time. Clearing it out, either forwards or backwards is a necessity and an impossibility. I can't hock it out and I can't swallow it because either one makes the soft palate feel like it is on fire. The best I can do is slosh some water around in there to try and break it up.

This by the way, is the cause of my only real throwing up. Not my stomach, but my gag reflex. This conversation is now so disgusting that I'm going to find something else.

OK. A list of things I like better than throwing up.

Mrs P
My blog
Folks who leave comments
Reading Barbara Kingsolver
Articles about the Steelers that do not mention serial rape
Old photos
Visits from friends
Walking in the sunshine
Dreaming of cheeseburgers
Jimmy Buffett
Being a wise guy
Knocking a wise guy down a peg
The woods

Oh, that reminds me. I read a great book by Bill Bryson called A Walk in the Woods. It's about a summer spent hiking the Appalachian Trail and it is funny as all get out. It is also a love song to the Trail and the mountains that give it its name. The author reads, and insists on pronouncing "ap a LAY shun," but he loves them so much that a Pennsyltuckian can forgive the mistake. It was a gift from a childhood friend and I loved it. It makes me want to get out in the woods again as soon as my wind is back.

So there, you see. There are nice things to think about when you have cancer, too. Which is good. Cause I'm actually feeling a little queasy right now.

Peace, (urp)


(That's "ap a LATCH un" by the way.)


  1. Can you use a numbing spray of some sort to stop the oral pain or a mouth rinse with lidocaine or some other anesthetic or will that make it even harder to swallow? Cloroseptic makes a throat spray that helps with a sore throat by doing just that.. numbing it a bit, but it must be swallowed and isn't so bad. Are you experiencing thrush? Just curious.

  2. I'll speak to the oncologist about it tomorrow. I've never actually had a sore throat this high up before. It's like I have a sore mouth. My thrush was pretty bad, especially after the first chemo, but it seems to be under control now. Thanks for your kindness.


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