"We're going for a cure."
Words I was grateful to hear.
Now that doesn't mean we'll be successful in getting that cure, but that's the goal.
And sometimes, all you need is the goal.
I'll be having thirty-three radiation treatments along with three chemo treatments. I guess the chemo they are using is pretty potent. It's really popular among those that like that nauseous feeling. (That would not be me.) They said I'll feel fine for the first three days because they give me some extremely powerful anti-nausea mediation when I get my chemo treatment, but come day four, well, that could get ugly. So, it's absolutely crucial that I take my anti-nausea medication at home. I guess some people feel so good during those first three days after treatment that they don't take the anti-nausea medication during those three days and then they really suffer come that fourth day.
We know this from experience.
Even though Rachel got different chemotherapy than what I'll be getting, she didn't take her anti-nausea medication those first few days after her first chemo treatment. Yes, she payed for it. Let's just say she learned her lesson, and I learned from watching her, and she took her anti-nausea medication correctly from then on out. The nausea situation was much better after that. She was more fatigued than nauseous.
I can live with fatigued a hell of a lot more than I can live with being nauseous. You can bet your britches I'll be taking that anti-nausea medication correctly from day one.
Then there's radiation.
Remember, radiation is the real cancer killer for my situation. The chemo treatment is to actually help the radiation work better. I lie down on the "bed", which is really a hard slab that slides back and forth in and out of, I guess I'll call it, the "radiation chamber".
After I lie down they put a personalized mouth guard in my mouth and then lock it down. This is what it looks like:
It's locked down because we don't want my head moving. Lasers are also used to pinpoint the area that is to be treated. We want to make sure the radiation is focused where it's supposed to be going every single time. It feels pretty crazy and the mouth guard tastes pretty bad, but it's remarkable we're even able to do this.
Now, one of the side effects of the radiation is that my goatee will go away because the hair will not be able to grow. So, here's what I have looked like for at least the past 15 years:
And here's what I look today:
They encouraged me to shave it off.
So there you have it.
I don't think I like it, but maybe it'll grow on me.
It's an aggressive cancer and we're fighting it aggressively with a brutal regiment of radiation and chemotherapy. It's nothing to look forward to, but it's all I've got. We all know the alternative and I'm not ready for that. So this is my shot, my attempt to rid my body of this disease.
All I can do is hope it works.