Been quite a while since I have added a post to the blog. I guess like many others, I just got lazy. Still in the “Cancer Free zone” after round 2 and the radical neck dissection plus chemo. However, I still feel worse than I did when I had the full blown cancer. I know it sounds weird to most people but several other “cancer survivors” have told me they know “EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN”.
My wife and I have to fish a 100′ drain snake down our basement drain every two years or so due to a tree root issue between the house and sewer system and we have it down to an art for the most part. She does a lot of it and I help where I can like lining it up as we power push it deeper. Unfortunately, I chose to use some cheaper nitrile coated gloves instead of buying new thick rubber ones. The result was very painfully educational. the steel cable grabbed my glove and twisted my hand and arm like a corkscrew before we could react to shut it down. It then took several minutes to free my hand, one finger at a time from the wound up mess I was stuck in.
All my fingers still work but they hurt a lot. I guess I pulled, tore or otherwise damaged all the muscles, tendons and ligaments in my hand. Sprained my wrist and pulled the muscle from my pinky to my elbow. I have been using ice, compression and Ibuprofen – exactly what an ER would do without spending $200 + for the advice.
As for the post cancer side/after effects, I still have the horrible lower back issues that the pain clinic has been dealing with for 5+ years. Due to the radical neck dissection removing my right jugular vein, my blood flow is very slow so when I stand up or just rise from a bent down or stooped position, I get very dizzy, very fast and still stumble/fall often. Most are not “major falls” but they are falls none the less and still hurt. The Tinnitus is getting worse but between background noise I leave on at night and the sounds from my Bi-Pap machine (no longer C-Pap) I can get sleep. I still sleep several hours a day most days for no apparent reason. Tests done with no results. Also since the Radical Neck Dissection, I have horrific Charley horses in my neck and throat every time I eat and sporadically thru the day. My ENT says he can give me several Botox injections in the neck to slow them down but I run the risk of being “a human bobble head” for a time with all the bad luck I have had so far. I still choke at least once each meal. I keep plenty of liquid nearby to help push food thru when needed. Still getting used to full dentures too, after a year and a half or so. Long term memory is fine but short term is still giving me problems. Getting a little worse every year. Still have the loss of much feeling and range of motion from my right ear to my right shoulder since the radical. Keeping up my physical therapy mostly swimming at the YMCA helps keep it in check. I do my walking mostly using a cane or a wheeled walker with a seat where I can sit and rest when needed but I did request and get a manual wheelchair for when we go shopping for the day and I know I will be stooping a lot. I am way better off sitting to begin with than falling while trying to get in the seat of my walker fast enough.
There is certainly more going on but as usual these days, I cannot remember everything right off the bat. I am still in good spirits (considering) and pressing on thru the days doing what I can when I can. I have a few more medical things I need to start addressing as I age. I do not know if they are age related (but probably are) or more side/after effects from the 2 cancers. I need to see a urologist about my prostate. I keep up with the cancer blood work as I have since I was 40 because every male in my family has had prostate cancer around age 50 – 65, I know I am so far cancer free but that does not mean my prostate is not the size of a grapefruit. I am having a lot of problems in that respect. I also have swelling in my shins and very poor wound healing there (with zero signs of diabetes).
Anyway, that’s the latest (as best as I can remember at this moment). I will try to update the blog more often.