Everything’s been a bit of an anticlimax since finding out on Monday that I currently have no signs of cancer. I’ve carried on making a different sort of thick soup each day. I’m still enjoying those and discovering what works for me as food doesn’t taste the same as it used to. And there’s the challenge of getting the consistency just right.
Drinking’s more of a challenge. Liquids tend to make me cough. So I have to tense all the muscles in my neck to avoid choking. That doesn’t look too pretty, but it’s usually effective. I have enjoyed a couple of whiskies with plenty of water. (Bought a bargain 15€ Loch Lomond single malt which goes down nicely.) I also had my first coffee in six months, a cafe solo in San An on Thursday while I was waiting to get my hair cut. Coughed a few times, but it was worth it for that long-forgotten caffeine buzz.
And I’m off to Palma on the 28th for an appointment with the dysphagia clinic. They’re the ones that check my ability to swallow and who I have been totally ignoring for the last few weeks. I’m only supposed to eat crème caramel according to them. So when I see them again I shall, no doubt, just take the advice that suits me.
Waited for nearly an hour and a half for my appointment at Can Misses… Then it took all of five minutes to be told by the oncologist that all my blood test and scan results were “very good”. Does that mean I’m in remission? “It means you’re not ill at the moment.” Well, that’ll do me. Next results I’ll get on Valentine’s day. Meanwhile I can stop taking the steroids I’ve been on for months. That’ll be a relief. I’d never experienced the joys of ‘roid rage before
Just had my first meal with Barbara for over six months, my home-made broccoli and roquefort soup and a yoghurt. Doesn’t sound much, but it’s a real step forward. The only slight disappointment was I tried a few sips of red wine with it and they did nothing for me apart from making my mouth burn…
Well, I managed a bowl of my finest lentil daal. I must admit that I had to add yoghurt to get a consistency I can manage and I still wouldn’t quite classify the experience as “enjoyable”. Hopefully, if I persist it will get easier with time. It’s not long ago that a tablespoon-full of crème caramel would take me 20 minutes to eat. Now I can manage a dessert at pretty much normal speed. And, yep, it is a bit boring, but after six months of not being able to eat anything, a factory-made pudding is still a treat.
I’m also continuing with my quest to break doctor’s orders by taking the occasional sip of water. That’s a real challenge because thin liquid could go down my throat too fast and make me choke. I’ve had regular experience of that because I need to rinse my mouth out to stop it going completely dry. I’d spit out the water, but every now and then a little would “go down the wrong way”. (Of course there’s a wrong way to go down, you dirty-minded so-and-so.)
Anyway, I can now swallow the occasional sip of water without choking. I have a clear goal. A week tomorrow, on the 11 November, when I get the results of my tests I aim to have a glass of cava to celebrate being told I’m in remission. (If the results aren’t good, a glass of cava’s not going to be enough.)
I’ve now managed to eat apple puree and mashed banana with yoghurt. All I need is Farley’s rusks and my regression will be complete
Back from the garage. They took one look said it was a blown sensor. Fixed it in 15 minutes and charged me €35 and that’s from an official Opel garage. Relieved.
Funny thing is, the reason I was up early was to get into Santa Eulalia (driving nervously waiting for oil light to come on) to have the blood test which determines whether I’m in remission from cancer. And I was more worried about the car…. Go figure
Another day, another hospital. This time I’m just back from Son Espases in Palma. As ever I’m nursing slight feelings of disappointment.
The appointment was to check the after-effects of the surgery. Generally, they’re delighted with my progress, the way my voice is returning and the general process of healing. That’s all good.
The disappointment comes from the swallow clinic. I think things have improved a great deal since I saw them last. The specialist things it is “a little better”. In context, last time she would not commit herself to saying that my ability to swallow would ever return. Now she says “it will take a long time”. That is better than never. I think as well that she’s from northern Spain where they don’t really do enthusiasm or encouragement.
So it’s on with the exercise and yoghurts. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to be a bit more adventurous…