Day 190 – Xrays

My name is Rick and my cancer status is unknown.

I saw the dentist today.  I have been putting it off under the excuse that I hadn’t healed all the way but I really just scared.  Sure I didn’t want to see him if I had thrush or a mouth full of sores or no saliva but really I was scared at how much it was going to hurt.  My teeth really have been hurting and I didn’t want to deal with it head on.  I am such a wimp.  Of course it turned out to be no big deal.  As usual, the build up is worse than the outcome.  My gums are not totally falling apart, my teeth are not crumbling and the teeth cleaning wasn’t that painful.  He hit only two spots that were hugely painful but the rest was fine.

Here is the funny part.  During the exam, he very gently brought up the subject of taking a set of dental x-rays.  His argument was that the radiation therapy could have broken down my teeth and an x-ray would reveal the damage.  Generally, a dentist might tread lightly over recommending exposing a patient to unnecessary radiation.  This is the tack the doctor took today… he gently brought it up and said that it was probably a good idea to take a full set.  To which I just laughed, hard.  Are you kidding me!  I should be worried about unnecessary radiation from that toy of a machine in his office.  The x-ray gun he uses is like the size of a cereal box.  Come on, I should worry about that?  He is going to put a lead vest on me and then turn on that wimpy little x-ray machine that probably runs on 110v.  He is going to take 4 pictures each lasting probably a few milliseconds.  The total radiation exposure in that session is probably 10% of the radiation exposure I received in just one of my 30 sessions for just the headshot they took to check my position.  I received at least 40 of those positioning shots of course followed by minutes worth of radiation from a machine the size of a car with its own generator.  I explained this hilarity to him and he agreed, it was kind of silly of him to worry.  Have at it, take all the friggin’ dental x-rays you want.

Yes, it has been a while since I wrote but I nothing much to say.  My weight is about back to normal; 126.  I have been exercising.  I have been working.  I can taste.  I am tired and my head hurts a bit.  Sure I am worried about my pituitary but there is nothing much I can do about it.  I wish I weren’t so tired but I can deal.

I have a pretty high up contact at Penn Health.  I explained my desire to help in the cancer area and he hooked me up with a person whose job it is to improve cancer care.  We spoke on the phone today for over an hour.  She is awesome.  We discussed a number of ways to improve things and a number of ways how I might plug into her initiatives.  I am looking forward to it.

Ate pizza with some great friends the other day.  I wish I could see them more.  Traveled all the way to Princeton to eat at this really special place.  I am having pizza with Dr. Angel next week too.  Seems like pizza is the food of choice to gain weight.  Hello 130?

I am working again and it feels wonderful.  It is difficult because of the lower energy level but I sense that I am doing good work.  It is also nice to be earning again.  The real challenge will be working on my normal 2-4 simultaneous clients.

My eldest daughter rocks.  My youngest daughter rocks too.

Sorry I have not written more.