Just threw the pic in because it may be the last one for a while with hair.
I’m sure you have all used or at least heard the phrase “Keep your Dauber up” or maybe “Don’t get your Dauber down”. Out of curiosity, I Googled the phrase. I was interested in the origin and real meaning. There are various opinions on the origin; the meaning is simple. Just words of encouragement; keep a positive attitude, show courage etc.
It is often associated with sporting events. The game of baseball; you strike out with the bases loaded or the curve doesn’t break and you give up the “walk off” game winner. From the dugout or the stands you hear “keep your dauber up, you’ll gettum next time.”
The sport of rodeo; you buck off at the seven second mark or you wipe out the third barrel on an otherwise winning run. As you leave the arena you hear “don’t get your dauber down”.
On the job, following a little chat with the boss, a coworker is kind enough to speak to you about the position of your dauber.
The phrase has been on my mind as it applies to the game of life, you have this thing called cancer and you have three days to absorb the fact if the treatment plan is successful your next normal meal will probably be sometime around Christmas.
Yes, I made the mistake of looking too far down the road and “let my dauber down” for a few days. It is back up and don’t ask me about day after tomorrow. I know about down the road but I am not looking past tomorrow.
Now, let’s talk about what has happened since I was here last, also it looks like one of those sleepless nights. If that is the case I may share some insignificant thoughts; I’ll try to stay away from the serious stuff.
Radiation and chemo have started. I have had six radiation treatments and two rounds of chemo. Radiation only takes about 20 minutes, chemo is about 3 ½ hours.
So far it has gone extremely well; just some very minor nausea, re flux and the normal fatigue. I have been completely capable of driving myself for those appointments. Some of the other chemo related side effects will probably begin to show up but at least we’re off to a good start.
About 90% of my food intake is through the tube, I haven’t totally accepted that as a way of life but it is going OK. The weight gain I bragged about last time was temporary, I have lost the gain plus a couple pounds.
I had an initial consultation with the surgeon who will replumb me (his words). I like him and was impressed with the Stephenson Cancer Center. He didn’t give me a lot of detail on how he would do it, basically an overview of what he would do. I think that was good because I am still trying to absorb the what, see the “dauber down” paragraph.
I will summarize: estimated timeline on the surgery is early September. He will remove my esophagus and use my stomach to build a new one. The surgery will take about eight hours, followed by at least a 90 day recovery. I will get my nutrition through the tube for most if not the entire 90 days. I didn’t ask specifically, probably wasn’t sure I could handle the answer.
I will need to do some pulmonary and stress testing to determine if I am physically able to withstand the surgery; I don’t think there are any hidden issues.
That’s about it on the factual stuff. I was right about the sleep, I think it is a day of chemo side effect, so I will proceed with a couple of those insignificant thoughts.
The short one first. One of the typical chemo side effects is sores in the mouth and bleeding gums, making eating very difficult to maybe impossible. That won’t hamper my ability to eat because I eat through that darn tube. Gotta’ look at the bright side.
Many times over the past few years if you stepped in my kitchen the pleasant smell of roast beef, spaghetti, bacon and eggs, takeout pizza, chili, goulash and the list goes on greeted you. Recently you would have been greeted by the repulsive smell of Ensure.
Repulsive might be a little strong but it is more descriptive than pleasant, and because I was cooped up with it, I kind of had a come apart. With a tremendous amount of aerosol air freshener, a couple of strategically placed candles and an emphasis on immediately washing the serving pitchers and throwing the empty bottles in the outside trash I kind of have a handle on it. Just another of the little unforeseen issues in this battle with cancer.
I have a radiation appointment in a few hours. I probably should see if I can find a little sleep. I’m not sure when I will be back, probably next week after chemo (not really). Thanks for reading what I write.
Keep me in your prayers.
Good Night and God Bless