Compared to Radiation and Chemotherapy, Mom's days have been fairly quiet. Her recovery and healing are moving along really great!
Last week, we started speech therapy and also saw Dr. Ryan at UCSF. Dr. Ryan feels Mom is progressing exactly as she should be. He took a peek down her throat (actually with a camera through her nose!). He could not see any cancer - there is still some inflammation in the voice box area - we need to wait another month or so before the CT scans will be taken.
Mom attended her regular Sunday morning Mass this last weekend! Just another step in getting back to her normal routine. She also played bridge with her Tuesday group yesterday. Today, we went to Mass for Ash Wednesday and also had speech therapy.
At therapy, Natalie - her therapist - attached some electrodes to her neck that stimulated her throat muscles to contract. It is called VitalStim, and is supposed to help restore her swallowing muscles. She will be having therapy three times a week until they feel she can swallow well enough to receive nutrition orally. Next Tuesday, she is scheduled for a Modified Barium Swallow test to see exactly how much, if any secretions are escaping down her windpipe.
Tomorrow we meet with a trainer at the Cancer Wellness center to create an exercise program for Mom to regain physical strength. She will be working out on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
On Friday, she goes for a Pressure Test (Ankle Brachial Index) at the cardiologist's. This is to check the blood pressure in her arms and legs - just to be sure everything is working properly!
The radiation burn on her neck has completely healed over! The skin is still very sensitive but it looks dramatically better. The healing of her neck and throat has been a major hurdle - that she has accomplished gracefully!!!