I just got back from a week in Mexico where I was able to eat almost nothing, the tumor in my esophagus has grown inward closing off my pie hole further restricting what I can get down. I’m fortunate I was a portly 250 pounds when the Cancer started attacking, this extra weight has helped me weather no eating since I’ve started Chemo. My organ functions and protein levels still check out O.K. and allow me to keep on chemo-ing. Malnutrition however has become the biggest looming concern of my treatment lately, so the options are discussed. I quickly dismiss the feeding tube, I need to eat, I am a Cook, not being to eat is not living for me. So Kelly and I talk to the Doc about a stent, a sleeve inserted into the esophagus to allow soft foods to travel into my stomach. The stent option at least allows me to chew and swallow some things, the downside is it is permanent and pretty much takes all steak like proteins off the menu. My Doc is very sympathetic to me being a cook, and how tasting and eating is important so she noodles an idea. The idea is something they really haven’t done on purpose before so the Doc calls the stent surgeon and asks, “If we put in a stent then radiate the tumor, and the tumor shrinks enough is it possible to remove the stent” the stent Doc says, “yes but it may even just fall through”. We decided this is what were going try, I’ll get a stent within the week to start getting nutrition, suspend Chemo while we target radiate the tumor daily for a few weeks, and hope there’s a porterhouse in my future.
Because I’m not getting much nutrition I’m the thinnest I’ve ever been, looking much like an extra on the walking dead, and now without nutrition I’m also waking like one. I have to wear a belt with my new size 32 jeans, I’ve lost so much weight that hard back chairs bother my backbone when I sit down. My time at the brewery will reduce even more until I can get better fed. I’m a creature of habit and have always loved working long hours in the kitchen, however now when I work myself to the brink I can’t eat or drink for days after, trying to find a balance has become the most difficult part of having this affliction. My family has ben very supportive, sacrificing their time and projects to help me through this and telling me several times a day to “go home”. I’m looking forward to getting a little stronger and pursuing vitality, and I’ll keep tilting at windmills with Kelly at my side. Thank you all for prays and well wishes, it truly inspires me to dig deeper and appreciate every breath.
Live for what floats you boat, or at least look hard for what it is! Life is so very precious please don’t waste your time.