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Posts Tagged ‘Mucousitis’

treatment planning

MON, JUNE 01, 2009
3:00 PM
RADIATION ONCOLOGY MOD 3
1’ST FLOOR MODULE 3
4950 SUNSET BOULEVARD
LOS ANGELES, CA

[Note: I have my first visit with a doctor since the end of radiation treatments.]

Doctor:… How ya’ doing Sir?

Me:……….Hello.

Doctor:… You are Mr. Schatzman?

Me:……….Yes. I be he.

Doctor:… You finished treatment about a month ago.

Me:……….Yea.

Doctor:… Any problems since we saw you last?

Me:……….Uh, problems. Let’s see. I still haven’t recovered my sense of taste but then again people use to say I really didn’t have any anyway, I can’t pay this month’s bills, and how come you don’t validate parking for appointments with a doctor?

Doctor:… Dunno’ about the parking. It’s gonna’ take, I’d say, maybe three months before your taste buds are back to normal.

Me:……….How exciting! Hope I last that long.

Doctor:… It should get better gradually.

Me:……….And the other physical “problem” is my left ear. It feels as if there is something in there. Maybe a Zenomorph. Feels clogged and sometimes wet. I was losing my hearing before and the radiation seems to have made my condition worse.

Doctor:… Lets take a look into your good ear first. Now let’s check the bad one. By the way, are you able to eat alright? Hmmn. Your left ear drum doesn’t look as good as the other ear, maybe swollen, but it should get better with some time.

Me:……….Well I eat, but not through my ear. I force myself to eat. I lost about eleven pounds. I thought I was gaining it back but according to the scale in the exam room, where the nurse took my blood pressure but didn’t give it back, I haven’t gained any weight yet.

Doctor:… Did you have much peeling of the skin?

Me:……….Yes. Quite a lot. It was the darkest tan I ever had, maybe even darker than George Hamilton. The dead skin finally all came off and I looked like a baby’s butt. Pink and smooth.

Doctor:… Some hair loss here behind your ear.

Me:……….As long as it’s not my ear that I lose. By the way, my beard hasn’t grown back.

Doctor:… No. It may not.

Me:……….It won’t? No more beard huh? That is emasculating news.

Doctor:… Probably a 50/50 chance your beard will grow. You weren’t planning on growing a beard were you?

Me:……….Sure I was. I had one for decades until I had to shave it off for the surgery. Say, if I rub the left side of my face with Viagra will that help my beard grow?

Doctor:… Open up. Did you have much mucousitis inside the cheek?

Me:……….Uh uh.

Doctor:… Let me have your tongue.

Me:………. O.K. But give it back. Sometimes I get little bumps in my mouth but they go away.

Doctor:… On the side where you received the radiation?

Me:……….Yea.

Me:……….What happens now?

Doctor:… We just see you every few months.

Me:……… Every two months?

Doctor:… Maybe three months.

Doctor:… Do you also see another doctor?

Me:……….Someone else? Yes. I understand that I will be seeing the chief of head and neck surgery in Orange County on a regular basis. In fact I have an appointment to see him in a little over a week. I think he is to monitor me for the rest of my life to see if tests show any spread of the cancer and whether to schedule me for more surgery if another tumor shows up on what is left of my parotid gland. You know it’s taken me longer to get over the radiation side effects than it took me to get over the surgery.

Me:……….You just check to see the effects of the radiation?

Doctor:… Yes. You know there are some side effects which can happen later on.

Me:………. Like what?

Doctor:… A fibrosis…a toughening of the tissues on your face and/or neck.

Doctor:… Why don’t you come back and see us in about four months?

Me:……….Send me an invitation and I’ll be here.

Doctor:… Let’s go out to the nurse’s station and she will take care of it. Come.

Doctor:… Schedule him for four months.

Doctor:… That’s a nice ring.

Me:……….What?

Doctor:… Your wedding ring. It’s nice. What does it say?

Me:……….It say’s “I am to my beloved as my beloved is to me” or if you are a Hebrew language freak it can also mean “I am to my uncle as my uncle is to me”. However, all of my uncles are dead and my wife is alive so the first interpretation is the most fitting.

Doctor:… How long have you been married?

Me:……….45 years. What’s your prognosis? Will it last?

Doctor:… Well you must be doing something right. Take care.

Me:……….O.k. Thanks Doc. Happy radiating. Bye Bye.

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