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Overall, this has been a much better week than last. I really have only one complaint, so we’ll get that out of the way early. Navelbine stops my gastrointestinal tract dead. I am still fine tuning my combination of stool softener and laxatives to try to keep things moving but not by way of painful cramps and explosive you-know-what. It’s weird. It’s not just constipation - everything stops. I get bloating and heartburn after I eat, and later on, lower abdominal bloating and pain. Right now I’m taking Colace and Senna and Miralax.

The fatigue that was so debilitating last week miraculously lifted Thursday evening. It happened again this week on Wednesday, the day after chemo, but was pretty much gone this morning. One day a week, three weeks out of four, of fatigue so severe that I can barely stand up long enough to complete a patient exam I can deal with.

The nausea I was experiencing last week, aggravated by the GI not moving thing, has been much helped by Reglan with no side effects that I can identify.

My pain is currently well-controlled on Ibuprofen 600 mg three times a day and Oxycontin 10 mg at night. I add .5 mg Ativan at night and am sleeping well through the night.

Today was the stereotactic radiosurgery. That was a good thing, as I have been having more and more frequent tingling in my right forearm. That’s consistent with the tumor in my neck pressing on the C6 nerve root. The radiation oncologist thinks the surgery will take care of that. I asked him how long that would take and he said I’d have to tell him. He promised me some guinea pig food if I’m a really good lab animal.

I premedicated myself with 10 mg of Oxycontin and .5 mg of Ativan and a good thing it was. They laid me on the hard CT table and clamped me down with the mask.

It was a long and sometimes uncomfortable 45 minutes but was over soon enough. Once they unclamped and released me, the radiation oncologist sat me down at the computer to show how they had used two different CTs and an MRI to exactly target the radiation and try to avoid structures like my spinal cord and esophagus. It was really cool and boy! I bet that’s a big bill.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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