The Battle Against Cancer-4(Commencement of the treatment)


I explained to the employees that the oropharyngeal cancer spread to the left neck lymph node was found and that I was goin to take the combination treatment of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

I also explained that I needed to be hospitalized for two months to take the treatment but I did not disclose that it was a level 4 advanced cancer as I did not want to increase the sense of insecurity among the employees.

With regards to the external explanation, I had instructed just to tell the fact that I was hospitalized but not to disclose the name of the illness.

And, as I only had one week before I was going to be hospitalized, I had to organize many things that could have been anticipated during the period of my hospitalization.

I was thinking to request the staff to print out the important daily reports and bring them to the hospital on the daily basis. But as I was looking at those reports every day on the computer, I was thinking whether it was reasonable to print out papers as the volume of the paper may become so huge. Such and such, my head was getting mixed up by the various matters that I had to deal with.

Until I was hospitalized, I had no time to think about my illness as well as the treatment, but gradually started to think about the treatment that I was going to take.

It was confirmed as the result of the PET -CT examination that the oropharynx cancer had spread to the left neck lymph node but has not further spread to the other organs as well as other parts of the body. Thus, the combination treatment of the chemotherapy and the radiation therapy was going to take place as scheduled.

Radiation therapy had started the next day. Twice a day, morning and late afternoon.

First you lie down on the treatment table. Then you will be covered with a mask that is made precisely from the top of your head down to the neck. And the mask will be firmly fixed against the treatment table.

The radiation will be projected from various angles to the cancer. Each treatment is about one minute in the morning and in the late afternoon. For the first three days, there was no subjective symptoms including pain.

But gradually, uncomfortable pain started to spread out and from about fourth day, sharp pain started to further spread out into the mouth and throat, the type of pain I had never experienced in the past.

The burden of this treatment both physically and mentally was far exceeding my imagination.

I did not understand at first, but many patients who had received radiation therapy had become obviously very weak after about a week. And they were putting a small chunk of ice cube in their mouth after the treatment. The patients were also getting the refrigerant from the nurse center and healing the temperature of the surface skin of the throat.

The patients started to feel difficulty to eat on their own and from about one week after, it was a regular pattern to take the liquid nutrition through their nose injecting the tube into their nose.

In addition, the patients became weak so that they were not able to walk to the treatment room on their own. Most patients were going to the treatment room by wheelchair supported by the nurse.

Effects of the radiation therapy also began on me from about the fourth day I rstarted to receive the treatment. It became difficult to eat a normal hospital diet, and I had requested to change the normal diet to porridge and soft diet.

But even though, I had to take the pain killer before eating and took me about one and half hours to eat each meal.

It was a torture but I kept that throughout my stay in the hospital.

The words of doctor before I started to get treatment saying

“The only job that the patient can do during the hospitalization period is to eat on own.”

remained strongly in my head.

However, as the matter of fact, it was really very difficult job to do.


都倉 亮 について

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