Into the Valley of.......

Thursday, February 9, 2012

After spending many arduous nights considering state of flux that is my future, decisions have been made. Firstly, I’m having a feeding tube placed in my stomach. I really can’t wait for this one. I’m so looking forward to the next romantic meal out with my wife when she can sample the culinary delights on offer at the restaurant, whilst I pop a bag of liquid that looks like paint into a machine and let the contents dribble into the tube which sits outside my jacket, before finally entering my stomach. I can picture the scene now; horrified onlookers thinking, "What the f**k is he up to?", whilst I can only drool at the smell and sight of what everyone else is having.

You simply don’t realise what a simple pleasure eating a meal is until it’s taken away from you.

All I can manage now is purified food, the odd cereal, soup and yoghurt. And these take an age to get down. The swallowing system is quite simple. You pop the food in your mouth, chew for a bit and then swallow. That’s it. For me? Well I pop the food in my mouth then I struggle to chew because the tumour at the base of my tongue is boring through the muscle so it sticks out to one side. every time I eat I tend to piss someone off standing to my left as they think I’m poking my tongue out at them. Then it has to pass my voice box which, is damaged again and my speaking is now back to square one. Having a paralysed vocal cord is bad enough, but it actually affects your swallowing as well as your voice so the food has to dodge these obstacles. Next up is my esophagus which is well and truly buggered. Every morsel that reaches this spot faces the same struggle as the poor salmon trying desperately to get upstream to lay eggs.

Eating is now a monumental task and while it is nice to be able to taste the food, I simply cannot get enough down me to satisfy my hunger. The pure joy of enjoying home cooked food, something I have always done due to Cathy’s amazing abilities in the kitchen, is now gone.

All this leads to my decision to undertake that journey into hell called chemo again. I sometimes ask myself, What on earth possessed me to take this decision after the horror trip I had last time? Well, if the chemo works the one thing they hope it will achieve is the shrinkage of the tumour in my chest, and the ones squashing my esophagus from either side. It may actually allow me to eat more normally again, but that’s a big IF. I haven’t thought about the effect of the chemo on the one on my tongue or the tumours in my spine. First things first eh?

This time there'll be different chemo drugs and I'm being kept as an in-patient for five days so they can watch over me, which I think will take the pressure off myself and Cathy. The chemo is due to start on February 20th but to me that’s a long way off. One step at a time and the first one starts with the feeding tube on February 9th. My eighth general anaesthetic. Wish me luck. Here goes......

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