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Treatments Complete ... In Recovery
November 5, 2004

Hello, all!

I just realized that it's been nearly three weeks since I wrote. Well, the headline is true. The final chemo session was scheduled for Friday, Oct 29. But, since it was so near the end of my radiation, Dr. Gottleib said it really wouldn't add much to my therapy and that I'd already had plenty of chemo so we canceled it. Then, IMRT "MASK" in hand, I went into my session with Dr. Eshleman only to have him tell me that there really was ONE MORE RADIATION SESSION SCHEDULED! So, I gave the mask back and dutifully showed up for the final blast on Nov 2. The treatments regimen was complete!

My health is another matter. 11 radiation sessions earlier we'd switched from targeting my whole neck to focusing on the tumor ... the so-called boost. My neck had begun to heal, hair began to show up on the back of my neck and I began to feel good! Mistake! After only a couple of days of euphoria the pain and heavy phlegm showed up again only in slightly different places according to the change in radiation pattern. Within a couple of days I felt as bad as I had ever felt, could hardly stand the idea of feeding myself ... euphoria GONE, GOne, gone.


Radiation Crew in Halloween Costumes
Radiation Crew in Halloween Costumes

Now, after three days of no radiation and another couple of pounds lighter I still can barely speak but the flow of phlegm is down slightly, the pain is easing slightly and I'm sleeping a bit better. I gave up on the idea of making it to my 40th high school class reunion tomorrow night 'cause I knew it would ruin my voice and am content on spending a few more really quiet days of recovery.

Hopefully I'll be able to speak in 4-5 days. I still have no idea on when I'll be able to eat. My sights are set on Thanksgiving ... but we'll see.

Meanwhile, thank you all for your calls, cards, e-mails, prayers and good thoughts. They have a powerful effect and I love you all the more for them.

Love,

Bill Stine