21 July 2021
Well, when I say 'no news' I really mean not so much new news...
On the cancer front, I had a further CT scan in May and a follow-up meeting with my Oncologist, the ever-cool Dr Grant. He's pleased so far, in that the original cancer site in my throat appears clear.
There is some tumour activity in my right lung, but not enough to warrant treatment - yet. I am however noticing more of a shortage of breath and this has slowed me considerably when out for a walk. I’ve been advised to flag this up if it worsens.
He's pretty sure I will commence most likely Chemotherapy in the coming months, and I'll be in for another scan and decision around September time. But until then I'll make the most of the summer - as far as I'm able.
For those that have / had similar head and neck cancer treatment to mine, I can report that some 13 months post radiotherapy, things are much improved, but still with collateral damage here and there. Eating many foods still presents swallowing problems because of a lack of saliva.
Nerve damage (from the radiotherapy) has left me with a numb right-ear, no pain – just an annoyance all the time. Mind you some would say my whole head has been numb for many years…
And my sense of taste isn’t really improving.
I’d say I have 20-40% sense of actual taste and this is mostly from my taste buds. These receptors give us the experience of sweet, salty, sour and bitter. And I can tell the difference in these.
But – and not many people know this – when we chew our food, the aromas are released and travel via the back of the throat, so it’s actually our nose that sends the ‘smell’ of food to our brain. And this is where I’m still struggling and not convinced that it’ll improve significantly.
But even with all of that – and I’m not really complaining, because in the big scheme of cancer diagnosis I keep positive thoughts and enjoy every day!
Which brings me on to the one thing I’m not enjoying… Getting old.
It’s been a while coming and this is my last day of middle-age, before I draw my state pension on 22nd July, when I’ll be 66 years old.
On the other hand, they do say ‘you’re only as old as the woman you feel’.
So on that basis – I’ve a good while to go yet 😊
And on that happy thought, wherever in the world you are – enjoy the summer and I’ll be back with more news around late September xx
I like to think I don’t look it but I can’t escape the fact that I now qualify for a bus pass to get me around.
This picture isn't my real pass - I intend a much later expiry date!