Week 10/11: Two steps forward, one step back…
Or to be brutally honest at the moment it feels more like one step forward, two steps back.
I should be well on the road to recovery by now; it’s been a full month since treatment ended. Two weeks ago I started to reduce my Oxycodone dose and I started to have evening meals. They were only 3-minute noodles, but they were delish. But then a new ulcer flare-up occurred. First of all it affected my uvula, but then it quickly spread to the roof of my mouth, my throat, gums, tongue etc. I kidded myself that this was to be expected – a couple of days of inconvenience, but then I should get back on the recovery road again.
But that was almost a week and, and now I find myself back to taking nearly all my food through the PEG tube and upping my Oxycodone dose again. Which is just frigging frustrating. Swallowing water is even really difficult. And it’s not just pain from swallowing, but a slow, burning pain that seems to affect my throat and temples such that I’m grimacing a lot, and that’s never a good look.
Trust me – for a gay man to be forced to have more lines on their face due to something other than age does not make for a happy bunny!!
Anyhow, I’m NOT looking for sympathy; far from it. I know that things will get better.
But when? The uncertainty is almost as unbearable as the pain. When can I stop shielding? When can I go back to work? To put it bluntly, when can I have sex again? [Side bar: No sex was allowed during chemotherapy (who wants to be on the receiving end of chemicals that kill), and no one tells you that Oxycodone is probably the biggest passion killer out there.] And although I’ve never discussed the more intimate implications of cancer treatment, let me tell you they are real and many 😭😭😭.
So this is just a short post. Just to vent. Just to emphasise that recovery can be as hard as the treatment, and at least in my case, it is certainly more unpredictable.