Aside from its normal content of security and the locksmithing trade, this blog was interrupted for a couple of years back in 2011/12 during my “battle” with throat cancer. (Although it’s a phrase loved by reporters, you don’t really battle cancer, or at least most of the people I met thought so; it’s the therapy battles the cancer and you battle the therapy.)
So, for anyone following that story I should post an update.
Things are well. Four years on, most things taste correct once again. Chemotherapy does horrible things to the taste of food, so in combination with throat cancer, eating was a big problem.
Saliva problems remain however. Radiation therapy to the neck is pretty much guaranteed to affect a few of the glands that produce saliva. So I still sip water throughout the day. And I have a mouth spray by the bed. Eating meat takes quite a long time; but it’s doable. I suspect that one day I’ll abandon meat all together. Fish, fruit and vegetables are now the tastiest for me; and they don’t present any difficulties in chewing and swallowing.
I’m still on thyroxine; but then so are half the people I know, so that can’t be definitively blamed on the radiation.
It had annoyed and surprised me that head and neck radiation patients (incredibly) aren’t routinely screened for thyroid and parathyroid problems, and it had been by my own efforts that I discovered severe hypothyroidism. The other thing that came up, however, was the discovery that chemotherapy routinely provokes gouty arthritis. I had already suffered a bit with occasional gout, but half way through the chemo my knee suffered the most pain I had ever felt. They are supposed to consider prophylactic colchicine (or something) during chemotherapy. Chemo causes massive cell death; that’s its purpose; and the processing of dead cells is one of the sources of the urates that produce gout.
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