Sweet Tweets

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Latest Email

The latest email from my father and his fight with esophageal cancer...

Hello Everyone,
It's been about five weeks since my last message, so I thought you might like an update. My radiation and chemo treatments ended at the time of my last message, but as predicted by my oncologist, the pain continued to grow for the next three weeks. My low point in all of this was just before Christmas when the fatigue and pain in my mouth finally had me laid up and basically unable to function. Janet helped through that most difficult time, and since the new year the pain has slowly started to abate, and I do mean slowly. During the low point, I was trying any and all pain medicine, including straight morphine, but the drugged out feeling led me back to the various hydrocodone/acetaminophen combinations (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco).
My taste buds are finally starting to return as well (except for the ones that taste sweetness), and as of this week, I've stopped using the feeding tube that I had become dependent upon. The total impact of this treatment was much more comprehensive than I realized even a few weeks ago. Radiation is truly a killer, and cell recovery for those cells that do recover, is very slow in coming. Hopefully all of the cancer cells were wiped out and will not return. We'll start testing via CT scans within 6-8 weeks once the healing has progressed far enough to see what's left.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and for the cards and notes you've sent me. Honestly it's been very difficult, but I've felt the Lord's love and your concerns through all of this, and they have fortified me. You certainly tend to have a greater appreciation for the small things in life, and for all the people who help you get through the darkness. I feel very fortunate for the support I've received. Take care.
Bill Merkel

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