From that single visit with the oncologist my brother’s dance card of doctor’s appointments was completely booked up. There was an appointment with ENT, Radiation Oncology, PET scan, MRI with side visits with the speech pathologist, social worker and anyone else who crossed our path.
Let me just say my brother is a pretty charming guy. Even in this compromised state he managed to joke very cleverly with nurses and doctor’s alike. So it’s not a chore to accompany him on these visits. I do feel at times I need to take a step back and let him be in control. In radiation oncology the nurse gave me some education brochures and called me “the boss” aka wife.
I am not his wife and being a nurse in not helping me in this situation. I keep looking one step ahead. I want to erase everything I know and have seen in oncology patients and just be blissfully ignorant.
He is however very happy to have me there asking the right questions and being his proverbial wingman. He has in fact thanked me several times.
After a week of tests and confirmation all that was left was a proper sit down with the doctor. Radiation oncology was the closest we got to a plan. She was very direct saying radiation would be daily, Monday-Friday for 6-7 weeks. At the site his skin would get a “sunburn” but that the inside of his throat where this massive tumor has grown from the root of his tongue into the muscles in his neck and trachea would get “burned” also. His muscles and soft tissue will get hard, tight and stiff from the radiation. It will be hard to swallow so a tracheostomy and PEG (feeding tube) will be placed before the radiation begins.
That’s a tough one to swallow