Day 16 – 22 Radiations and 3 Chemos to Go!

2017-10-31 14.14.25
Day 16 180 lbs

Happy Halloween! The days are flying by; Monday and Tuesday have come and gone.  I start each day with the best of intentions writing down my list of things that I would like to get done. The reason that I do that is because I normally have the attention span of a gnat and it is now cut down to about a fourth of that.  I struggled with the laundry yesterday flitting off on everything that caught my attention – make some throat coat tea, file, oh yea I owe so and so a text and email a call – shit I never started the next load…..better do this or that and damn I need a nap.  But I’m getting OK with it.  One key item a day and guess what?  It is expendable depending on the task at the moment.  Monday I forgot to stop by the Chemo center for my weekly blood test, but they can do it before treatment.  No big deal.  I am not God and my simple plans are just desires.  I take care of the necessities and God takes care of the the rest.  Set aside my damned ego and strap on the faith.  And Fear!  I woke up at 2:30 to pee and apparently I had been breathing through my mouth.  My throat was raw.  I was in the dark tired immediately convinced that I could never do this, I was not even half way and the pain was unbearable.  Deep breath, pee, go get some water, get on your knees and ask God for a little sanity and what do you know – It is bearable.  You know what to do – you have prepared, you have the tools – you just need to let go of the fear, ask God and your friends for some help and walk through it.  What could happen?  You have already imagined the worst -it might even get better.  And by the light of day – it did.  I was embarrassed when it worked just like they said it would.  I just had to do the work, set aside my ego, have faith, ask for help and walk through the fear.  Just like in the book, Progress NOT Perfection.

After I got over myself it was a good day.  Started out at 8 with radiation and everyone was dressed for Halloween.  The techs all had themes for their machines and Jen’s was tropical with grass skirts and flower headbands, we had Power Rangers, onesies, cats, phantoms and fun.  I wore a skeleton earring for the day that they made me take off before I masked up.  Next up –  Dr. Guthrie and chemo.  I was down 4 lbs, but Dr Guthrie assured me that I was golden and doing better that most with my side effects.  I gives me new respect for those I am with that are really struggling and strengthens my resolve.  Then Kelly jumped me and told me that I need to drink more.  She had to try 3 veins to get me going but she gave me and extra 1000ccs of electrolytes and let me take a wonderful 3 hour nap. A trip by the fairgrounds, skipped the grocery, ate some Krystal’s with cheese, no mustard, shared some cake washed down with egg nog with Sydney, had garlic cheese grits with field peas and watched my ultra considerate wife whip me up

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My Halloween sorceress and her cauldron!

“Magic Miracle Broth” It is described as “The Rosetta stone of soup, a broth that can be transformed to meet a myriad of nutritional needs, serving as everything from a delicious sipping tea to the powerful base for more hearty soups and stews.  No matter what a persons appetite it can provide a tremendous nutritional boost.  It is a rejuvenation liquid, chock full of magnesium, potassium and sodium, allowing the body to refresh and restore itself.”  It makes six quarts of broth but takes a 12 quart stockpot to prepare because of the 14 vegetables, including seaweed, needed to boil and simmer to create the broth. Damn I’m a lucky man!

Goodnight my friends, thanks for letting me share my fears and worries so I can laugh with you at myself as i go through this wonderful life.  Tomorrow is another day!



Author: Don

Hi my name is Don Penny I am a professional woodturner in Jacksonville, FL. I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic squamous cell carcinoma in 3 lymph nodes and the base of the tongue and this is my story of day to day life while fighting cancer.

2 thoughts on “Day 16 – 22 Radiations and 3 Chemos to Go!”

  1. Buddy, you may find it hard to stop eating all the calories after you are finished with treatments and done with the cancer. I hope you and Kat have a plan for how to wean you off the sweets, egg nog, etc. You may want to set aside some of the Go Fund Me money for Weight Watchers!!! But for now, Krystal’s with cheese sounds like perfect medicine.


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