There was some good news from my appointments on last week’s Long Day. For one thing, it seems like my disease is still responding well to the treatment, though it’s getting harder to tell from just inspecting my mouth, as the mucositis sores are confusing the terrain. For another, my skin does seem to be holding up pretty well, and I’m not yet showing a really bad ‘sunburn’ effect. My cetuximab rash continues to be mild and not widespread.

Also, my weight was stable, after having been down a number of pounds last week. Stable is good. I was kind of hoping to weigh in a little heavier, but stable is OK.

That’s the good news. From here on, it’s complicated.

I’ve been trying to eat as much as I can, but it’s really hard. Obstacles include not just diminished appetite, but nausea, constipation, and, increasingly, mouth sores.

Tube feeding is helpful, but there’s a limit to how fast I can pump food in before my stomach rebels, so it’s slow going. So with everything, it’s tricky getting enough calories. But it’s critical, which is why I have adopted a new motto, based extremely loosely on a line from Glengarry Glen Ross – ABCD: Always Be Chowing Down. I figure if, whenever I can be taking on food or liquids, I am taking on food or liquids, I should succeed.

Optimus Prime, er, the Vitamix Pro 300

Kimberly has been a superstar, finding and concocting high-calorie and nutritious recipes for me, and doing a lot of shopping to prepare us for getting me fed.

In preparation for the days when I have to give up on mouth feeding entirely, we bought a very nice Vitamix Pro 300 blender, which we’ve already started using to purée soups. (The Vitamix is quite a machine. Standing on the counter, it looks like Optimus Prime compared to our ancient blender, which now looks like the claw from one of those pick-the-toy glass-box machines.)

We also came home from our last Wednesday appointments with a prescription bottle of “magic mouthwash” (yes, that’s the actual name on the scrip) to help deal with mouth sores. It’s equal parts benadryl, lidocaine, and maalox, which I swish in my mouth to calm things down. The benadryl is supposed to ease the inflammation, the lidocaine numbs everything up, and the maalox is there to make sure the mixture coats the surfaces well enough for it to work. Let’s just say I have no fear that it will become a popular street drug, but if sure helps when the growing sores along the inside of my lips are acting up.

So, we are well-prepared. Now I just need to perfect the technique.

Always. Be. Chowing. Down.

7 thoughts on “ABCD.

  1. I thought chocolate is a proven elixir of life? CCD said so….

    Keep on keeping on!!! Another Bit of Chocolate Day….

  2. I am so sorry to hear about the latest eating stuff, though I am jealous of the Vitamix- that thing is the bomb. One suggestion is to try adding nut butters to your liquid diet, if you don’t do it already. I drink morning shakes for a different reason (anti-inflammatory) but like to mix frozen blueberries and smooth almond butter into most everything. The almond butter adds just enough fat and protein to be satisfying. Wishing you the best in this ABCD journey.

  3. Magic Mouthwash sounds like a very helpful thing! I imagine every possible bit of relief is a godsend. And, “let’s just say i have no fear that it will become a popular street drug” totally cracked me up. I think that has a promising future as a catch-phrase. ABCD all the way!

  4. ABCD! Priceless, Paul! We use the VitaMix that Steve bought his freshman yr. in college for our daily fruit. Amazing machine. Best to you both. J

  5. Glad to see you write. Was getting worried… Good to know you are kicking, and writing blender reviews! :)

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