Erik MH:

blog entries: health

Chemo­ther­apy, radi­ation ther­apy, and side effects

Sev­er­al people have asked me wheth­er I’ve been sug­ar-coat­ing my posts here — or at least choos­ing to write about only the good, rather than the bad or the ugly.

I will admit that, espe­cially in the early days, things weren’t that great: I suffered from naus­ea and fatigue (mostly from the chemo­ther­apy, I think) and pain (from my j‑tube sur­gery and the enflamed eso­phag­us). These weren’t ter­rible, how­ever, and I’d been led to expect that the effects of both the chemo­ther­apy and the radi­ation ther­apy were cumu­lat­ive over time — that is, that they would gen­er­ally get worse over each week of my therapies.…


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“Eat­ing” through a tube

So it occurred to me that perhaps some of you know as little about tube-feeding as I did a few weeks ago, and that you might be curious.

Medical IV pole bearing a “Kangaroo” pouch of “food,” and a pump
You can see from the photo that I’m rel­at­ively port­able even when connected.

I’m eating a little solid food now — more than I was last month, in fact, because they widened my esophagus a bit during surgery in August, and perhaps also because the radiation is ensmallenating the tumor, too....


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No news is good news…

Well, things have been quiet here this week in Lake Wobegon….

Really quiet, in a way, though my dear friend Andy came up from Boston for the week­end to shake things up a bit (hi, Andy!). It was good to get the men­tal juices flow­ing again: Andy helped re-shelve piles of books in the lib­rary — which was very wel­come! — but even more he acted as a ter­rif­ic sound­ing board to help me fig­ure out pri­or­it­ies for the Mordor pro­ject and for work­ing out backup con­tin­gency plans for vari­ous oth­er Tolki­en-related things I’ve been doing (a few of which are spelled out at Ver­mont Soft­works).…


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The radi­ation lab

This actu­ally is the radi­ation machine. I lie on the bed (left), which is rolled into place. I’m pretty sure that the low cen­ter “draw­er” extends out when it’s in oper­a­tion, and that that’s what orbits around my body dur­ing the two- to three-minute session.…

**UPDATE 2017-09-14: No, I had it com­pletely wrong! …


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‘But you’ve left out one of the chief char­ac­ters: Sam­wise the stout­hearted. “I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn’t they put in more of his talk, dad? That’s what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam, would he, dad?”’ — The Lord of the Rings, §4.08.065


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