I have been able to swallow and am getting fairly adept at creating smoothies with Ensure, yogurts, bananas, and Jevity - a supercharged supplement supplied for folks like me that need to keep on the weight. Since being diagnosed back in mid-October, I've gone from about 174 lbs. down to a low of 154 and back up to 160 as of today. The MDs are leaning on me to keep the weight stable. I'm adjusting to having to eat and drink food and fluids that have essentially no flavor, or bad flavor. Eating has become a required body function and I don't look forward to it any more than I do going to the bathroom. Amazing - how we in this country put such emphasis on that one basic function and have turned it into another "pleasure zone" that we indulge in rather than a gift that we are privileged to enjoy. Not unlike our obsession with sexual pleasure, I think.
I'm heading into the "dog days" of treatment soon. Down one round of chemo and 10 radiation treatments, my throat is starting to smart some and my mouth is constantly dry. I'm told that the swallowing may become extremely difficult soon and that I will be using my PEG tube more. Throat pain should also move me into pain management medications in the not too distant future. I do take it one day at a time, but I'm also trying to stay realistic with what lies ahead.
I've had about 5 or 6 pretty good days, The kids were here on Christmas day and good vibes were in abundance. They gave me an ipod nano. I may be the only musician in town that has not had one. Showing my age I guess. Deanna and I went "gift light" this season. We both feel so blessed with what possessions we already have and have enjoyed being able to help some of our church missions take on poverty and spiritual emptiness in less fortunate parts of the world.
I attended Country Gospel service this Saturday and was almost overwhelmed with the kindness and compassion directed my way. I love those folks in our little Country Church within the North Coast community of church venues. I'm intentionally thankful and prayerful as often as possible.