I hadn't realized that it's been so long since my last post - the days have just flown by! I've actually been feeling ok overall. Of course I'm taking it very easy and I'm not really pushing myself; at the slightest hint of pain I take painkillers (it's better to deal with it early than try to treat it when it's raging) and I rest if I feel even a bit tired. Honestly, though, I haven't had as much pain or fatigue as I expected and my esophagus isn't bothering me. My lymphedema is acting up a bit which is no surprise, but the swelling is mild and easily controlled.
Ian's been so supportive also and has sent me to rest if I even look tired. He's also spent some time doing some of the things I normally do so I don't have quite so much on my plate. I really appreciate his help and support; I would have a tough time without it.
My sisters asked great questions that I think most of you will be curious about as well. One asked how long the doctor said it would be until I feel like my old self again. The answer is that the bulk of the side effects should be gone after a month or so. The fatigue can linger longer than that but I should be feeling pretty normal after a month. I'll be seeing the radiation oncologist for a follow-up on March 23 (four weeks after treatment ended) to see how I'm doing.
My other sister asked when will they know if it worked as well as they hoped. We'll know whether the treatment worked when we do my regular scans in the summer. There's no point in doing scans right now because things tend to get worse before they get better, and I don't mind waiting that long to be sure. We may see other indications that the treatment worked before the summer scans: for example, the pain and my tumour markers will decrease after a possible initial increase. I see my regular oncologist next week and I've already done my tumour marker bloodwork already so we'll see where it is.
If you have questions about any part of this, please ask them either in the comments or by emailing/texting/messaging me. If you're wondering about something, someone else will also be wondering