Recovery, Week Four

On Wednesday August 13, Nick saw Dr. M, one of his glaucoma doctors. He was concerned that the chemo and radiation might be having an adverse effect on his glaucoma.  Dr. M. did not find that to be so. In fact, Nick’s oncologist, Dr. N., suggested that Nick take magnesium, and  Dr. M. said that magnesium could have a positive effect on his eyes.

Nick’s ability to taste sour (acidic) foods has returned, and as with saltiness, acidic foods have a  much more intense and less pleasant  taste than they would typically have. We are slowly adding more variety  to his diet with the addition of foods he is able to eat without difficulty or displeasure. This week he ate scrambled eggs that tasted, to him, close to typical. Cantaloupe worked well as his first fruit, but pineapple was far too acidic. He was able to eat  ground beef stroganoff, made with sour cream and served over noodles. For lunch he enjoys his old “guilty pleasure,”  mac and cheese, which he gave up when he was diagnosed with diabetes. Before cancer, Nick would typically eat and enjoy an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert for dinner. Right now  he is eating about a third to a half of a typical entree portion with no other courses, but it’s a start.

We have resumed our social life. At The Levitt Pavillion, our town hosts free entertainment under the stars for 60  summer nights. On Tuesday night, we went to Comedy Night with my friend and former neighbor, Mary. How good it feels to laugh!

I run a “Dinner and Theater” group for my  former colleagues thanks to TDF—The Theatre Development Fund. We typically go to the city  together a few times each year. When I receive a group offer I will always accept. This is in fulfillment of my New Year’s Resolution—have more fun.  This week only one other member of the teaching staff planned to attend with me. She had to cancel, so I took Nick in her place, not knowing if he would be able to eat dinner at a restaurant or if he would be able to stay awake during the show. We went to one of our favorite theater district restaurants, Osteria al Doge. The chef was accommodating when Nick asked for pasta cooked  beyond “al dente.” He was able to eat most of it. He loved my entree, grilled calamari, because it tasted almost typical to him. Nick adores dessert but he could eat no more, and there was no point in ordering it anyway,  because he has no taste for sweetness yet.

The show we saw was Bullets Over Broadway, a very funny musical comedy written by Woody Allen from a 1994 movie that’s set in the Twenties, with  familiar songs from that era.  It still has the original cast, one nominated for a Tony. Nick loved it! I had been worried that he would fall asleep from the exhaustion of the trip and the late hour, but our first big night out was a huge success. All the Broadway theaters emptied onto the street at the same time, so we were in a huge crowd of literally thousands of theater goers mixed with tourists. The NYC police brought in their mounted police in order to get the streets clear enough for vehicles to get through. Even with all that, we made our return train without a problem.

I went back to Dr. H. on Wednesday because I thought I had thrush once again. Instead it’s  something called “geographic tongue,”  a condition that presents with areas of whiteness on the tongue  but no pain. It’s neither serious nor contagious and requires no medications.

Nick gained seven tenths of a pound this week. We’re hoping for more of a weight gain next week!

6 thoughts on “Recovery, Week Four

  1. I’m so pleased to hear about how well Nick is coming along! Great news, and I enjoyed reading about your big night out in NY too! Barbara, glad to know that you are ok also. Thanks for all the updates and my best wishes to you both. 🙂

  2. This report is wonderful: Nick eating and you both having some fun. Illness can become so central to the family and life that it was great to read there is some of both returning to your lives.


  3. It sounds like you two are making excellent progress. Keep up the good work!
    It’s great that you are able to get out and enjoy life. It is indeed precious as we know, especially as we get older… Love your posts, regards to Nick

  4. I concur with Patty! I can’t imagine anyone being as attentive, diligent, understanding and patient if I were the patient in this scenario. You Are a Saint! Thrilled to hear that you took in an outing to the city together. Times Square, of all places!! I have taken to walking in the streets to avoid the tourist crowds you mentioned, but now that our streets there have people watchers sitting there (!), even that seems an impossible task. I saw “Bullets” on opening night, and while it was thrilling, I knew it wouldn’t last the season. I’m surprised it’s still running! As far as Nick goes, it seems he’ll be up and running soon, with your love and care, and his perseverance, and I look forward to seeing you both.

  5. This is all so encouraging. Barbara, I hope if I ever get seriously ill I have someone as loving and caring as you to take care of me.

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