Sunday, September 4, 2011

Just So Friggin Tired...

...and I just had the thought that perhaps I will have to blog later this evening - after a nice nap for an hour or two. Then I thought: "If I wait, I will put it off again and I have been putting it off, that is putting off blogging about it, for too long". I found out on August 2nd, which so far has to have been one of, if not the, worst day(s) of my life.

I have been really out of it lately, seems everything makes me tired. Had a doctor, over the course of about the last year, telling me virtually all my problems with feeling tired, having sore throats and such were due to sleep apnea. Well, now I have a CPAP machine and I use it every night and I am still rundown every day. That doc told me she had ruled out everything that could be making me feel fatigued so it had to be due to sleep apnea. She was adamant! She even told me that same thing, one day when I went there to complain about insomnia keeping me awake and thus me feeling run down. She would not hear it, or at least she did not want to hear it, that is just about anything I said that might indicate I had something else causing my problems other than apnea. Same thing when I complained repeatedly about a sore throat and swollen glands. On one office visit, her nurse saw a lesion at least half the size of a dime on my tonsil. The doc told me my tonsils were red from snoring, then took a rapid strep test and a flu test that were negative, then gave me some antibiotics to cure what I do not know because I know that antibiotics do not cure apnea. Of course though, the doc again said that apnea was the cause of my ills, even the sore throat (she said my glands were not swollen although both I and her nurse/assistant thought they were so). She said she had ruled out everything else possible - her diagnosis was fatigue due to apnea and a sore throat due to snoring, or so she told me.

Oh well, I saw her a few to several times, over the course of a year or more, and she basically told me the same thing each time, even when she might also have admitted I may have been ill from something else too, that sleep apnea was making me tired and run down and it was the root cause of my ills. Turns out it was something else, something else really different. She was a real asshole in my opinion. You see, I saw another doctor in her office who found what was likely the problem because she: looked at my chart/file, listened to me about sore throats, swollen glands, feeling run down, and listened to me asking if maybe a cyst I had removed in May 2010 was recurring. She sent me for an MRI of my neck. She paid attention to me and to my symptoms, apparently in opposition to the other doctor.  The second doc agreed with me, maybe the cyst came back or a new one had formed. Then the MRI. Then the diagnosis - cyst like formations in the right side of my neck, at least 4 of them. As for the apnea, there is probably no way possible that it caused my medical problem, the one that the second doctor was responsible for discovering. On the other hand, it is possible that my medical condition worsened my apnea. 

Then more tests, then a definitive diagnosis. Now I am about to receive treatment for what has ailed me. Hopefully, now that they found out what is wrong with me, they will cure it. It is very likely though that it will be a long while before I am feeling better, or so they tell me. The docs said they are going to make me feel worse first. Yep, they said they will make me feel a lot worse before I feel better again, oh joy! Sometimes the cure seems worse than the disease and they are promising me this cure is going to be terrible but are not promising it will work - just giving me a very good chance.

The plan is that they are 'going to cook my neck', is what one doctor told me and my wife. He said it will be 'like a Thanksgiving Turkey' and 'it is going to be so bad I will want to give up'! Another doc told me "I am going to knock the hell out of you" and said it would be "extremely intensive". At the same time, they are going to fill me up with some cocktails to make me feel even worse, but what is a turkey unless you baste it while you cook it? It's going to be seven weeks of radiation at 5 days per week and three 2 day chemo sessions in that seven week period. Then, as they were kind enough to inform me, I will continue to cook from the radiation for a couple to a few weeks!

They also said to expect physical damage from the treatment - maybe permanent, otherwise to at least expect damage lasting years, possibly to my hearing, my salivary glands, my swallowing ability, my taste buds and so on. One doc told me and Linda that I am 'in for the fight of my life' and 'it will be the most difficult thing I have ever done' but that 'I have to not give up and have to show up every day for treatment no matter how harsh'. I told them to bring it on; right now it seems better than the alternative. Time will tell as to how I feel after a few weeks of it, if I am still that fighter.

My black cloud sucks, it is a nasty thing, but I must say it has impeccable timing when it comes to fucking things up for me. There I was, all ready to retire in December, and now this mountain is in front of me, blocking my path, with a big C emblazoned on its face. Cancer sucks but I plan to give it a sucker punch. They found it in the lymph nodes. The docs think it started in my right tonsil and that I have had it for at least several months maybe more than a year, one even seemd to imply maybe the cyst that was removed from my neck was cancerous but the tests then showed it was benign yet nasty - so maybe I just imagined his implication but I think it was plain. They think it has been there a good long while because it has spread extensively in the lymph nodes in the right side of my neck. I have to wonder - is there is a friggin conspiracy against me ever having it really easy in life? Then again, I guess life would not have been as satisfying and enjoyable had I lived it on easy street, nor the rewards as sweet had they been easily won!

As the man in black (was he dressed in black or inside of a black cloud) sang:

Well, I've had all that I've wanted of a lot of things I've had
and a lot more than I needed of some things that turned out bad.

Man - if that ain't the truth!

All the best,
Glenn B