Feb 112016

StethoscopeOn Monday, I went to Orlando to see an ENT about my cough and for a follow-up appointment with my oncologist. The ENT was not at all friendly or sympathetic, which is not what I’d expect from someone who works in oncology. She put a tube up my nose and down my throat to see if she could figure out what was going on. What she found was what she believed to be thrush, a type of fungus that is common in people whose immune systems have been compromised. I’ve already received two rounds of treatment for thrush, and she prescribed a third. Then she said if it’s not gone in two weeks, she needs to biopsy the spot. That sent me into a panic. If the first two rounds of treatment didn’t work, why should I think this one would? And what if the cancer is back?

I was pretty upset when I got to my oncologist’s office and I told her what the ENT had said. She showed me the results of my first and last PET scans and assured me there was no sign of cancer. She also said it’s not uncommon for people who have undergone chemo to need several rounds of treatment for thrush. That made me feel much better. I’m scheduled for a CT scan and another follow-up appointment on March 31 to make sure the cancer hasn’t come back.

I was feeling a little blue last week and seemed to get weepy over every little thing, and I told that to my oncologist. She gave me a prescription for an antidepressant. I figured I could probably use one but had my doubts as to whether or not I’d be able to take it (me and drugs don’t get along). I was right. I took one pill and it made me really dizzy. It also made me feel like I’d drank a ton of caffeine. I spent the rest of the day on the couch and haven’t taken any more of the pills. I seem to be feeling a little more optimistic this week anyway, so I guess I just needed some time to get out of my funk.

My feeding tube keeps falling out. I’ve been to the ER three times in a little over a month to have new ones put in. And every time they put a new one in, my body wants to reject it (foreign object), so I’m sick for a few days. So today I went to the surgeon who put the first one in. He said next time it falls out, just stick it back in and blow up the balloon that holds it in with a syringe full of saline. If that doesn’t work, tape it in overnight and come to his office the next morning. That’s a relief. No more ER unless it happens on a weekend and blowing up the balloon doesn’t work. I can’t eat or take my medications if the balloon is busted.

I haven’t heard a word from my speech therapist since my barium swallow (which I believe I mentioned I failed miserably). So I called Orlando to make an appointment with one at the the University of Florida. After reviewing the results of the test I had here, they said I need another test because there are things they should have tried during the first one that they didn’t do. They also insist they have more resources than the home therapist, so I’m going to take the second test next Wednesday in Orlando. I’m pretty nervous because I really choked when they had me try to swallow during the last one. But the speech therapist I talked to on the  phone said choking is a good sign that I’ll be able to regain my ability to eat and drink again, so that’s good.

That’s all the news I have for now. It’s been a long road and the bills keep coming in, so if  you’d like to help me with my battle with cancer, please go to https://www.youcaring.com/julie-mears-henry-495041.

 Posted by at 9:04 pm

  3 Responses to “Still dealing with the aftermath”

  1. The poor bedside manner is only forgiveable if she is a fabulous doctor and she helps you. I always say I don’t need a friend, just a good technician. Of course, some caring thrown in is always appreciated. You want to feel like they are on your team! The choking/swallowing thing makes sense. I wish you the best of luck with that test. That could be a turning point in this long recovery process. You are a brave girl and your blog is amazing. Stay strong.

  2. Praying for you Julie!! Praying for a Recovery Soon!! My heart goes out to you. You are battling quite a fight. May God Bless you Girl!

    • It’s been some week for you. I agree about going to Orlando, where they may have better resources that you need. And I agree about the choking. Your reflexes are working there. Wishing you the best and praying everyday for you.
      Also you may be able to make deals with some of you bills by talking to them. Or hire someone to do it for you. It might be worth the money. Talking to the billing people to reduce the bills was something an old friend of mine did.
      Thanks for the update.

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