Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Back in the Saddle ... Sort of ...
As a boy in Oklahoma--a devoted fan of Western TV shows (there were a lot in the early 1950s) and movies (ditto)--I was never all that crazy about Gene Autry. He was one of the "singing cowboys"--guys who, mysteriously, stopped ropin' and shootin' and savin' the town to, well, sing. I just could not understand it. Singing when you could be blastin' those Bad Buys in Black Hats?!?
But his song "Back in the Saddle Again" was a big hit for Autry--link to video of Autry singing in a decidedly unWestern environment.
I think I've posted this info before? Too bad. Write it off to my galloping dotage.
But the song's a little relevant to me today. For the first time since last Saturday I was "back in the saddle"--back at "my" table at the Open Door Coffee Co. here in Hudson. The last few days have been a tad ... difficult.
Last Thursday, I received the 10th of 10 radiation treatments to deal with an apparent cancer site* in my spine--vertebra #T-9. My old enemy, my prostate cancer (first diagnosed almost fourteen years ago), has metastasized, moving into my bones, and recent scans have shown what appears to be one of its hiding places--that aforementioned vertebra. Thus ... the radiation treatments.
As I've written here before, the zapping went through my chest (thus passing through my esophagus); then the machine rotated, zapping me from below as well. No pain, just ... terror?
My esophagus has not been ... pleased. Though it will repair itself (and is doing so), I have experienced some very unpleasant days when it has been painful to swallow anything--from food to water to saliva to my pride.
Radiation also makes you weary (the body devotes much energy to repair--though cancer cells cannot, which is why radiation can work).**
So ... I was weary ... and raw in the esophagus ... but hanging in there.
And then ... the floor fell out from under me.
I'm not sure what happened? Was it the new blood pressure med I'd just begun? Was it the cumulative effect of the radiation? Was it some vengeful god, annoyed at a slight of some sort? Was it a revolt by my 70-something-year-old body?
Beginning on Sunday, I couldn't do anything but sleep. I mean 20 hours a day or more. The whole idea of eating nauseated me. I was so dizzy I could barely walk across the room.
I called my cardiologist, and he immediately got me off the new med, substituted another, which I will start today.
Yesterday (Tues.) I felt moderately better--but still slept for hours and ate only a small supper. No breakfast, no lunch. Food had become a synonym for evil. Or poison. Or evil poison.
Through the night I could tell I was improving. And this morning, feeling a bit more frisky, I loaded my backpack and headed over to Open Door (slowly, slowly) to do my morning's reading--started a new book to review for Kirkus Reviews.
I climbed onto my stool ... looked out the window ... was back in the saddle again ...
And now I'm taking it easy, trying to make sure my horse called Hope does not buck me off ...
*I say "apparent" because the scans are a highly educated guess, not a biopsy.
**But not in my case. This is a delaying tactic only; there is no cure for me ... not yet.