The day started with the oncologist in charge of my chemotherapy, Dr. Deborah Wong. I learned several interesting things.
For example, throat cancer is usually caused by smoking, chewing tobacco and/or drinking. But I was never a smoker or dipper, and I rarely drink. However, there’s a slightly different form of throat cancer caused by an HPV infection. In a weird way this is a good thing because radiation and chemotherapy work a lot better on this type of cancer.
On the negative side of the ledger, the possible side effects of the chemotherapy drug they want to use include the temporary or permanent worsening of things I already have to cope with: hearing loss, tinnitus and neuropathy. They will monitor those things carefully so they can adjust treatment.
I also signed consent forms to participate in a clinical trial of a nutrition supplement. If I lose a certain percentage of body weight they’ll have me drinking a super-duper Ensure-like drink. Six of them a day. I sampled it. A little chalky, but otherwise okay.
Then it was time to have my Inquisition mask made. Gotta keep my throat exactly positioned for each radiation treatment. Not only will the mask aid in treatment, it will also provide my Halloween costume from now on.