7 Weeks out of treatment!
Things are starting to turn around the corner and come back towards a new normal.
Rich feels like doing more things, like mowing the pasture weeds down, doing light yard work but the recent heat wave along with a lot of humidity has dampened his spirit.
He feels like he has the whole summer to catch up on.
Indeed in many ways he has weeks of 'life' that he sort of missed while being in treatment. Chemo was no cakewalk as was the radiation.
July 27th was the day scheduled for the removal of the PEG tube. In the beginning, we'd decided to call this tube 'Miss Peggy'. Rich had said that if he had to sleep with the damn thing it was getting a name.
And he gave it a woman's name, he said, because 'she' was such a pain to look after and was always getting in the way.
I had to go to work and Rich had said he felt strong enough to drive to Madison and back on his own.
The PEG tube was in place in case Rich lost the ability to swallow, which often comes with Throat Cancer treatment. The throat gets so intensely sore and painful it becomes impossible for some patients to swallow even pureed food. But he was a determined soul and we never had to use the feeding tube.
The withdrawal of the tube was painless he told me. He met with his psychiatrist afterwards. Dr. Cordes is an interesting person. He is blind and in some ways I think that makes him more perceptive to Rich, he doesn't see the body movements that Rich uses while he communicates but Dr. Cordes can hear the inflections in his voice.
Dr. Cordes greeted Rich and Rich happily announced to Cordes that he'd finally gotten his divorce. Dr. Cordes was temporarily thrown off as his mind wandered probably to all the meetings that Rich and I had gone to together.
"A divorce?" he asked.
"Yes Doc, from Miss Peggy, my feeding tube."
Rich explained that he and Cordes discussed his recovery and told the Doc that he still felt he wasn't doing 'good enough' even though everyone was telling him that he was. Dr. Cordes suggested that Rich do what everyone else around him was doing...giving him a pat on the back. Rich should stop and give himself a pat on the back.
In my observation, I told Rich that he was actually more active now than he had been in a year. He worked outdoors for longer periods of time and got more 'stuff' done.
I wonder if the cancer that had been growing there for who knows how long had been a part of his continous exhaustion last year. We'd addressed it as a possible depression issue, but what if it had been 'THE' Cancer?
I guess we'll never know at this point. And really we both don't care. Rich's attitude is so fantastic, even though he still has daily pain in swallowing, that we have no doubt in our heads that he is cured and better.
Of course the PET scan in September will address that issue for us.
Miss Peggy has exited our life. No more flushing 'her' and for Rich, she no longer gets in his way.
It is a good thing.