Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Every three months, like clockwork

Around this time last year, I had finished radiation and had just completed my first two rounds of chemotherapy. I was bald and loved wearing all the warm, cozy hats. Now I have a head full of darker hair that's possibly loosing the curls that came with regrowth(ie, chemo perm.) I hope so, I wasn't doing well with the curls...although people seemed to like them on me...just something different, I guess.

Today was my 3 month check-up with my oncologist, Dr. Valea. I alternate every three months between him and my radiation oncologist, Dr. Jones. The appointment was pretty uneventful, although I now have to have a colonoscopy to see how much damage the radiation from last year actually did to my digestive track. I've been having symptoms ever since I had radiation, but didn't really think that much about it...until today. I assumed it was something I was just going to have to live with. Well, I was wrong! Fortunately there's treatment for the condition I have...chronic radiation proctitis(or colitis)...unfortunately I have to have a colonoscopy to determine amount of damage to help decide course of treatment. On a troubling note, none of the treatment options are pleasurable! Let's just say I have to take steroids...but not by mouth. I'll leave the rest to your imagination!

If you're fascinated by the topic, please do read the Wikipedia entry on radiation proctitis...beware, there are pictures. As a librarian, it's my professional duty to provide information, yet it's up to you, the reader, to decide to read it. Don't say I didn't warn you!

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