Monday, October 11, 2010

#264: In A Funk

Where have I been?

Good question. I've been asking myself that for almost a month. A lot has happened, I guess. On the other hand, nothing has really happened at all. I have been stuck in a massive depression since getting the news that I was not going to die. This makes no sense to me. They tell me that it's not uncommon. People get used to the idea that their life might end, then in a flash, the whole picture changes and it's hard to cope with. I was surprised all summer that my depression was laying low. We'll it's back now and making up for lost time. I saw the shrink last week. She messed with my meds a little bit and referred me to a counsellor. Just what I need. More doctors.

You should see the other guy.
What else has happened... I passed out in the bathroom last Sunday. Standing at the toilet doing my morning business and the next minute I heard what I thought was china breaking. I had fainted and fallen backwards into the tile wall, knocking about twelve tiles out of the corner and apparently breaking a rib on the bathtub spout. I say apparently because the doc told us that if there was a cracked rib, there was nothing they could do about it anyway, so I decided there was no point to getting another CT scan. Now I have these two huge bruises on my back. Thanks to the blood thinner they are apt to be there for a long time.

The whole episode scared the daylights out of Mum. She had made plans to go home, and was considering staying longer, but we convinced her that I was going to be ok. The doc said I was just dehydrated because I was not eating enough.

I got my teeth last week. It was quite a process. First Dr. K, the RAD Oncologist told me it was OK to see the dentist. Then the dentist checked out my gums and gathered my history. He spoke with the folks at the Markey Center about the condition of my mouth, then we did the impressions. This involves filling two metal trays with sticky goo and pressing them onto your gums. This is how we learned that I have a very sensitive gag reflex. Never puked on a dentist before, though I would have liked to on a couple of them. The next day, they had cast wax forms out of the putty negatives and we tried them on. The Dentist did lots of sculpting and shaping, trying to get the best fit possible. We picked out a color, (an insane task, if you ask me. How are you supposed to know what color your teeth should be?) Then the way models went off to the lab. A week later, I went in again and the lab had put teeth into the wax. More molding and sculpting. After so long without teeth, I felt like I had a mouth full of golf balls. Once the doc and I were satisfied, the models went back to the lab, and I made another appointment. Two weeks after my first appointment, they gave me my dentures.

Fake teeth take some getting used to. Chewing becomes a conscious act. I've never really given much thought to the process of moving food from my lips to my throat before, but suddenly it's something I have to do on purpose. Speaking is also an adventure. I don't have a lot of diction problems, but there is some work to do. My "s" sounds whistle and "k" sounds are a special challenge. When I say "k" my tongue taps the roof of my mouth right at the spot where the back edge of my upper plate sits. That mushes the sound up a little and if I'm talking fast enough, it can actually knock my teeth loose. I think I can solve these things with practice.

I've had a couple of rehearsals. This weekend's really wore me out. I sang OK, but got tired so fast. After a couple of hours, I could barely get up to lean on the piano. I guess conditioning will come in time, but I am so tired of being patient. I want everything to be better NOW!

It has taken me a while to get up the nerve to write again. I didn't want to get online and whine about how hard it is to be not dying of cancer. It's absurd to me. Maybe I was ashamed of the way I was feeling. Maybe I just couldn't make sense of it. I still can't. Guess I'm just hoping that putting all this into words will help me, or maybe it will help someone who has to travel this road after me.

Whatever good it does, it feels good to write again. I need to make it a habit.




  1. You are looking FANTASTIC!!!!!!! And you know what Fernando says..."It iz better to look good than to feeeel good, dahling!"
    Regardless, MY GOD MAN!!! You've been through a tremendous amount over the past 6-7 months....cut urself some slack. There is nothing absurd, in my opinion, about how ur are dealing/feeling/coping...nada!
    So, wanna get together this Thurs???? I'll need some cheering up as I am putting the girls in a little school program and I feel absurdly guilty....

  2. So glad to hear from you, friend!

    It sounds like you've had a lot of learning to live again to do in the last month, so you're excused for taking the time to do so instead of writing to us. What is not allowed, however, is guilt about your subject matter. This is your space, created by you, existing only to help you heal. We are a part of your healing. Whatever you are dealing with, rational or not, is part of your journey. There is no judgment here, only love.

    Also, the chompers look stellar!

  3. I just remembered when I first got my teeth dentures from glenn martin dds dentist. Boy it was so much weird talking and eating haha but I got used to it and it really boosted my confidence with a complete set of teeth


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