Christmas was nice. My dad and sister came up to visit. Although I was unable to eat with them, I did manage to put together some meals (with a ton of help from my husband) and I even made some chocolate-covered pretzels and a batch of peanut butter fudge. I tried to taste the candy, but the chemo gave it an awful after taste. Probably just as well or I would have wanted more.
I completed my last chemo session the week of Christmas. I’ll probably still need one more blood transfusion, but after that I can begin to recover. Although, at this point, I’m not sure what to expect as far as time frame.
A few days before Christmas, my feeding tube started leaking. On Christmas Eve morning, I went to the surgeon’s office and had it replaced. The day after Christmas, the new tube was still leaking, so I called the surgeon. He sent me to the ER where they replaced the tube again. It’s still leaking. Right now, I’m using feminine hygiene products instead of drain sponges in an effort to stay dry. They work a little better, but not much. The surgeon has no idea how to fix the problem, so I’m assuming I’ll have to live with it until I can get the tube removed.
The speech therapist FINALLY came out yesterday. She’s going to try to get an order from my PCP to allow me to start eating next week. It’s too risky for me to try it this week because my blood counts are low from the chemo, and food going into my lungs could cause pneumonia. When we get the okay, she’s going to give me a list of soft foods to try. She warned me it would probably be painful and that I needed to take it slow, so I’ll just try a little bit each day and see how it goes. She also gave me some new swallowing exercises to work those muscles.
I’m going to try to go back to work part time the first of January and hope to be back full time in February. We have $15,000 in medical bills (our out-of-pocket max) already and more will come in with the new year. It’s amazing how quickly they add up. I did find a local organizations that has helped us a little. A guy came out the other day and paid our water bill and three of my smaller medical bills. He also gave us a $50 gift card. He’s trying to get permission from his board to pay our mortgage and electric bill this month. That would be a huge help because I could put that money toward the medical bills.
On a slightly different note, I’m so glad the Chiefs made the playoffs! I’ve missed almost the entire season because we don’t have DirecTV and I don’t figure I can go to a bar if I can’t eat or drink anything. So I’ll get to see at least one more game this season.