HEAD NECK CANCER - A learning journey
During the last month, we have taken a healing journey to Tasmania's north-west and to the south-east, Marion Bay, a small community south of Maria Island. Our cottage by the sea is perfectly situated a few minutes' walk to the beach. Often just with seabirds for company, including the tiny godwits/ whimbrels that annually migrate nearly 10,000 kilometres from the Arctic Circle to this special seascape, my goal was to walk greater distances each day. Starting with half-hour stints, I increased to two hours. The beach is about five kilometres long and it is refreshing to walk on the hard sand at waters'edge.
With lots of rest, reading and starting to eat more by mouth, I could feel myself slowly coming back to 'normal'.
There is no fast fix for the post recovery period, and I was glad when the Peter Mac dieticians arranged for Nestle to courier more packs of Resource.2 nutritional drink to my brother's house in Hobart. I am not coughing so much; the excess mucus has subsided, replaced by dry mouth syndrome. I am off all medications, but my appetite and taste are limited. My stomach is not performing well, and this will take some months yet to 'normalise'.
At my two month review meeting at Peter Mac this week, I was told that I am way ahead of the curve in terms of recovery and my feelings of lack of energy and appetite are commonly experienced. I have lost just over 10 kilos since treatment commenced in July.
My goal this month is to wean myself off the PEG direct to stomach feeds, so that the PEG tube can be removed in December. Hopefully, I will start to put a bit of weight back on.
More healing time with family in Sydney this month, but no swimming, running, or vigorous exercise yet.
The lesson is to be kind and gentle to myself, and thankful that I have a kind, gentle and patient partner, helping me through this healing journey. Thank you also to family and friends for your special support.
As a gentle provocateur of positive change,