There Is No Zero Because Zero is Not Exactly a Number

and because I have no more cancer treatments to count down. Sure, there’s weeks of recovery and years of follow-up, but the acute phase of treatment is officially over and I am a happy camper.

What I am doing to celebrate:
1. Completed and will mail out our application for Canadian citizenship.
2. Long nap.
3. Dinner and music with friends.
4. More socializing and napping over the weekend.
5. I am taking a leap of faith that I will be in good enough shape to go to Brazil in 5 weeks’ time, so we started looking into visa requirements.

In the end, EBR was kind of anticlimatic. I certainly experienced nothing approaching what other patients referred to as the “worst pain of their lives” although if I swallow the wrong thing or the wrong way, it does hurt like hell. The burn on my neck is also plenty unpleasant, but it’s just that. I take mostly over the counter medicines, and just one spoonful of codeine cough syrup at night to control a really nasty cough. How bad can that be? I also appear to have all my taste. Which is amazing. Either I got lucky or they really did aim “away” from my mouth and throat.

Recovery will be slow. In fact, for the first couple weeks I may not recover at all as the radiation continues to do its work. But at least I won’t have a 150 minute hole in the middle of every weekday. The burn may let up in about 3 weeks, but I will need to put heavy sunscreen on it forever, and I need to stay out of chlorinated pools for a good month. So I will still be rocking the dorky Tilly hat until the burn is healed enough to use sunscreen. The swallowing pain may stay with me for 6 weeks or more, though I expect that it will decrease slowly, just as it ramped up slowly. As to the fatigue, who knows? My guess is I will feel waves of it for a very long time, as I just got through about 9 months of intensive treatment including 2 kinds of radiation and 3 surgeries. But I’m hopeful that it too will start to remit in a few weeks and that I can get back to being me, at least most of the time.

Luckily, I have a very non-stressful year to look forward to.

As to the future of this blog, there will still be cancer blogging, as I left a few aspects of the year undocumented and would like to tidy that up while it is fresh in my mind. Though I certainly will feel empowered to address other topics, or take a summer break as I did last year. We shall see.