This has been a pretty darned good week so far! I have already accomplished a lot at work, slept really well, and ate some sushi. There were minor and transient bone pains and muscle spasms, but nothing that was not solved with some Advil and Tylenol. The most annoying problem has been my dry mouth.
On Monday, I attended a lunchtime seminar called "Look Good, Feel Better" where I got a bunch of makeup and some strategies for trying to look my best during chemo. There was a really strong emphasis on not contaminating your makeup, and I had this epiphany that continuing to use my favorite old lipstick is probably not a good idea especially now that my immune system might be compromised. (Yes, I really do have an old Clinique lipstick in exactly the right raspberry color with sparkles that I bought at least six years ago. No, it is not all dried up! It works fine! Yes, I will go throw it into the trash as soon as I complete this post.)
On Tuesday afternoon, I noticed that my tongue had turned white. A big white floppy tongue filling up your mouth, yech, that's not right. So the minute I got home, I rinsed with salty water and phoned Duke and chatted with the oncology resident on-call who reassured me that as long as I had no fever I was okay to wait till Dr Reidel could call me tomorrow. (If you are wondering whether my white tongue might be related to the scary old lipstick, it is just not true.)
On Wednesday, I sipped Gatorade, coffee, ginger ale, milk, and water but nothing really worked to keep my mouth moist. Well, the rice pudding helped. Mmmmmm. But no matter how much you like rice pudding, you just cannot keep your mouth full of pudding 24 hours a day. I read online that there is artificial saliva. The first time I read that, I gagged, but the idea is starting to appeal to me.
Tomorrow, I will have bloodwork done, check in with Dr Reidel, and then try to catch at least part of the Chemo Orientation seminar where I hope to get more info about how to deal with my dry mouth. And then if I have any energy left after work, I plan to go out to dinner with Carol for North Carolina BBQ. Lou does not really care for vinegary North Carolina BBQ, so Carol and I will have at it while he is playing poker. Marriage is about compromise.