Update 2 1/2 Years Later

Weight: 186 Lbs

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 2 1/2 years. The nodule on my upper lung turned out to just be a little scarring from the radiation treatments. In the last CT scan in June it appeared to be about half the size of previous scans. I still follow up with my ENT every 4 months. I just had a visit with him yesterday and everything looks great. I will hit my 3 year mark in May and our visits will be less frequent.

My taste is mostly normal. Saliva production is less than before treatment and I get dry mouth when I exercise and have to make sure there’s water on hand. Apparently my thyroid did suffer some damage. I take 75 mcg of levothyroxine daily to increase my T4 level and feel great. Aside from this my life is about the same as before. Sometimes I forget that I had cancer and how difficult it was.

Not everyone will need a feeding tube but I did. There was a point in my treatment that I hit a low point. I wasn’t able to take in enough calories, nutrition and water without vomiting. I was weak and wasn’t sure I could make it. My wife convinced me to get the feeding tube and within a few days everything began to change. After a few attempts with the tube I didn’t have the nausea and vomiting. Once I was able to get nutrition and hydration I became more energetic and optimistic about my recovery. I began gaining weight and I believe it significantly sped up my recovery. Most people who go through this think that getting a feeding tube somehow means they are a failure. I was in this group in the beginning but later realized that success and winning was recovering and getting back to normal no matter how I got there.

The G-Tube was the best tool I had in my recovery. I couldn’t heal without nutrition and the tube allowed me to pump in as much nutrition as I wanted. If you can get through this without needing it, that is great! If you can get your nutrition and calories by mouth then that is obviously the route to take. Everyone is different. If you’re like me and can’t get enough nutrition to heal, please don’t torture yourself and delay your healing by refusing it.

The reason I insist on writing about the tube is because everyone who has contacted me as they begin their treatments has been against getting a feeding tube. Ultimately the ones who have finally decided to get it expedited their recovery and were ultimately glad they did. Others refused and had massive weight loss, dehydration, depression and suffered through trying to choke down enough calories to survive.

The hospital shipped cases of Jevity to the house. I managed to take in 6 Jevity’s a day which is:

  • 2130 Calories
  • 90.6 grams of protein
  • 306.6 grams of carbs
  • All of my vitamins and minerals.

Pumped in 6 of these a day

I hope that people who stumble across this blog realize that there is hope. There is life after treatment. My advice would be focus day by day on getting through the treatment. Focus on getting enough calories and nutrition to heal all of the damage done by the radiation no matter how you can get it in your body. Do whatever you have to do to recover and then you can hopefully get on with your life and put it behind you.

3 thoughts on “Update 2 1/2 Years Later

  1. Hi Dave. That’s a great post and so glad you are feeling so well. It’s good to get this tube phobia out in the open. I think there is an element of control in the situation too. Not having a tube means you have control over something. I’ve found it’s largely a bloke thing. Most of the girls I’ve helped support have gladly had a PEG or an NG and it saved their lives.
    Keep up the good work and have a lovely Christmas


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