Throat Blog — Organizing for Consults

I had an unexpected consult, yesterday (Dietician consult and I didn’t see the appointment until about 40 minutes before it was due). It was added at the last minute…and fortunately I made it in time. Also, fortunately, the radiation therapy team was able to move my afternoon treatment up to morning, so no need to make two trips.

In one of my previous lives, I was a certified meeting facilitator. I spent a lot of time making sure that every meeting had an agenda and that the agenda didn’t get side-tracked during the meeting by tangential issues (which I would try to move out to a smaller, future meeting as appropriate). Now, I’m finding that some of these dormant skills might help me organize my doctor and specialist consults throughout treatment.

So (and as long as whomever I’m in the consult with is in sync with this), I’m going to try to have prepared before each sit-down a quick sheet broken into 3 parts:

  1. Primary Cancer Issues: List of any critical issues or changes directly related to the tumor-reduction therapy as appropriate to whomever I’m meeting with. Airway constriction? Pain? Any notes on the treatment itself.
  2. Secondary (side effect) issues: Monitoring and mitigation of side effects of treatment: Pain, swallowing, breathing, nausea, sweats (or chills), other digestive issues, fatigue, weight gain/loss, etc.
  3. Baseline health issues: I see my baseline health as the platform that supports all treatment, recovery, and restoration. Things like pre-diabetes management (currently on hold), appropriate (and inappropriate) supplements to diet, blood pressure management, heart health, fitness, etc. Basically those things I was tending to before this diagnosis and treatment started.

So, some things to do an advance of 3 consults next week.

Meanwhile, I feel fine. A little sleepy in the afternoon from poor sleep (my kidneys finally kicked back in after the chemo, so I was up 4 or 5 times last night). One unexpected secondary side effect of the chemo on Monday: Sudden 5 lbs weight gain. I’ll discuss it more next week during consults, but I suspect it was a combination of the chemo and other meds slowing down the food moving through my gut, the sudden increase from about a 1500 calorie/day to a 2500 calorie/day diet on Monday (nutritionist’s recommendation) increasing the overall mass of stuff in my digestive tract, and some water retention from 4+lbs of fluids added during chemo (that appears to be working its way out, now).

Below weight chart shows my trend along with some key events. Stress during diagnosis and then impending major surgery took about 5.5 lbs off over 6 weeks. Relief from still having a larynx after the operation was changed to a biopsy helped with that, and I gained back a few lbs. Then this week’s big treatment-induced jump.

So, not expecting to have too much to say until next week. Thank you all for your well wishes.

Leave a Reply