Week 14 – Even when the moods get better, the cumulative effects of the treatment are hitting hard.

  • Radiation Therapy                     26/33
  • Chemotherapy (Paclitaxel)    4/5
  • Pain                    6/10
  • Mood                 6/10
  • Energy               4/10
  • Side effects     8/10

The effects of the treatment is setting in with full effect. The pain is getting worse, so I am getting morphine both as pills and low dose patch

Morphine has no side effects for me while using it, however it does not remove the pain,but makes it bearable.

My skin at the neck is slowly turning violet and is irritated, I daily use aloe Vera on the skin, but it can only limit the degree of burns.

The phlegm is going from merely being annoying to have a crippling effect, it is impossible to have a longer conversation without spitting every sentence out, telephone conversations I totally avoid.

A few times a day i have to throw up the phlegm, especially when i am doing anything which resembles exercise, like bycicling.

To get to the hospital is a matter of planning what to bring to spit in, when i am going with the train or bus.

The smell of the phlegm is also terrible, especially for myself but also for my nearest family. My youngest daughter does not want me to sit beside her at sleeping time, I do not blame her at all.

I wake up multiple times at night to spit,clean my mouth and sometimes throw up.

I react by isolating myself socially as I am not able to converse, just nodding.

Week 13 – After the terrible weekend, change of chemotherapy.

  • Radiation Therapy                     20/33
  • Chemotherapy (Paclitaxel)    3/5
  • Pain                    5/10
  • Mood                 7/10
  • Energy               5/10
  • Side effects     7/10

After i conferred at my weekly meeting with my doctor about the effects of tinnitus, he prescribed another chemotherapy called Paclitaxel.

I will never say that chemotherapy medication is a good experience, but the effects of the new medication were marginal compared to Cisplatin, my tinnitus disappeared and my loss of appetite was removed. Sure i had the same flu effects and pain, but my mood was much better and now i had the tube , i got my needed proteins and my fast weight loss was stopped.

Week 12 – Second dose of Chemotherapy and first mood swing

  • Radiation Therapy                     14/33
  • Chemotherapy(Cisplatin)       2/5
  • Pain                    4/10
  • Mood                 4/10
  • Energy               5/10
  • Side effects     6/10

The effects of radiation are slowly setting in, my neck is more sensitive and my gums are swallowed. From the effects of the Cisplatin were out of body till a new round , i had roughly 1½ day which i enjoyed.

As my tinnitus was getting worse, i mentioned it at the weekly meeting with the doctor and we agreed that i could try one more round and if the tinnitus were still worse, then they would look for an alternative.

Second round was much worse, the flu-effects hit hard, the swallowed gums were even worse and my loss of appetite was magnified, . For three days my only intake was fluid and bananas, i lost about 3 kilos. The weekend was terrible for me and my poor family.

I could feel my limbs were cold due to lack of food and my mood was really dark because i really tried, but could not manage to intake any food. The tinnitus were continuing. When the effects worned out, i managed to eat some food, which immediately helped my mood.

I told my wife that if i did not eat anything or little again for the next round chemotherapy, i would ask for a NG tube also called a nasogastric tube,which is a tube that carries food and medicine to the stomach through the nose. Contrary to the US where the PEG tube is much more used, in Denmark, the NG tube is primarily used for shorter treatment durations like tonsil cancer, when your food intake is too low.

The NG tube has it advantage in it is very easy to “install”, it takes about 1 minute and i did not feel unwell at all. The disadvantage is that it is very visible in your face and the tube in the throat is annoying when you sleep.

Even though i did not like to present this very visible “add-on” to my kids, my mood was relived now that i could bypass the mouth and i could inject food even when i was not hungry.

Week 11 – First week with full radiation therapy treatments and the first dose of Chemotherapy

  • Radiation Therapy                     8/33
  • Chemotherapy(Cisplatin)       1/5
  • Pain                    3/10
  • Mood                 7/10
  • Energy               6/10
  • Side effects     2/10
My first dose of Cisplatin, a new world for me with walking around with this rack, just to go to toilet

The first week with all-inclusive on radiation and chemotherapy, the radiation is working hard to numb my taste buds, but otherwise no noticeable pain.

The first time of Cisplatin is a different manner, i went to the Hospital to get my first dose, it takes about 3 hours from i arrived till i left. Cisplatin is administered through a vein and expect the little sting, i did not feel anything before the next day. I was given a whole lot of medication.

  • Some unknown medication which should alleviate the worst side-effects from Cisplatin the first 3 days.
  • Prednisolone to counter the nausea effects,  Cisplatin has a very bad reputation for.
  • Calcium pills which counter the calcium loss effect Prednisolone has.

The next day i felt the effects of the chemotherapy, i did not feel any nausea, but my first experience happened when bought a durum roll and the meat tasted horrible like metal.

The loss of appetite was not in full effect, but the Cisplatin made most food taste horribly, so i was primarily eating baked potatoes and mashed potatoes from then. I began to realize how large-scale and on how many aspects this treatment would hit me.