I have quickly progressed from careful experimenting to eat everything (carefully). I do still have to add hydration (takes me too long to drink liquids, although it is do-able in small sips). But, starting Sunday I've gone almost completely to food-by-mouth. Nothing red (too many doctor's appointments coming up) but every other color is getting a work out.
Pasta, sandwiches, yogurt, ice cream, beef stew…and I hope to continue to grow that list. Most of this is still highly processed (no rare steaks, yet), so pretty easy to digest. It takes a conscious effort to swallow carefully to prevent food from going down the wrong way, so eating is slow. So, I'm opting for many small meals instead of my habit of 2 big ones.
Not sure if it is related, but mucus production seems to be greatly reduced, too. I do cough occasionally when I eat…or more often when I drink, as some aspiration occurs. But, I've not needed to use my vacuum to clear the trach tube in 2 days. Not coughing up as much mucus, but still a little.
So, that is a pretty good lead-in to the rest of the week. Tomorrow is the long-awaited PET scan. My medical oncologist pointed out that on a PET scan, inflamed normal tissue can look like live tumor, so I should not expect to have a definitive answer as to "is it gone?" without a biopsy of any suspect tissue. While I have a few doctor appointments scheduled after tomorrow, I really see anything beyond tomorrow as shrouded in fog. With few exceptions, I can't really know what the next steps are going to be until we see what tomorrow brings.
At the very least, something will still need to be done about airway restoration. I really, really want to get rid of this trach tube. Maybe I've mentioned that once or twice. I'll probably mention it a few more times until it comes out.
Thursday I do have my annual physical with my new primary care physician. I sneaked a peek at the lab reports, and everything looks pretty good from a cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar standpoint. Something about losing 35-40 lbs has a lot to do with these improvements. I do not recommend anyone follow my diet plan, however.
So, impatiently awaiting tomorrow's news. I think I'll go get a snack.