The radiation therapy is aimed to kill the cancer cells but it also damages the surrounding cells. Simply, the surrounding cells will be affected in terms of getting burnt.The surface of the skin where the radiation is projected also heats up very much.
I was getting the radiation therapy twice a day, in the morning and in the late afternoon.
As the other patients, who were getting the radiation therapy before I did, I was also asking the nurse for an ice cube after the treatment in order to alleviate the pain in my mouth and throat. In addition to that, I was also requesting the nurse to give me a wet towel to wrap around the neck to cool down the heat-tinged surface of the neck skin.
However, the pain in the mouth and throat from the radiation treatment became stronger and stronger as time went by.
As the pain was reaching to the limit I can bear, I had asked the doctor during the periodical check whether the pain had reached to the maximum point and whether it will become weaker.
The doctor looked into my mouth and said
“Well it has become very inflamed and it looks painful. But, it has not yet reached to the maximum point. The peak is yet to come.”
I was very much shocked and felt desperate to hear the doctor’s words and I was not sure whether I was able to further bear against this cruel treatment.
There were many other patients, not only one or two, who were saying that they would rather not take the treatment anymore since the pain of the treatment was beyond imagination.
Most patients gradually became very weak so that they were not able to eat on their own. The tube were injected into their nose and the nutrition were injected through the tube.
It was very difficult to see how they were suffering but at the same time, I was thinking and fearing for my turn to come in the similar condition.
The anti-cancer drug used in the chemotherapy makes your appetite lose. In addition to that, the radiation therapy burns inside of your mouth and throat.
It was very depressing when the meal time came.
But I always remembered the words of the doctor who told me
“Mr.Tokura. The only job that the patient could do is to eat on own!”
I repeatedly said to myself.
“I got to eat on my own. That’s the only thing I could do.”
I requested soft food but I still had to use the pain killer before I ate and it took me about an hour or an hour and half to eat each meal.
But, due to the affect of anti-cancer drug and radiation therapy, it was almost impossible to eat. Not only physically but as time went by, I started to lose the taste of the food, Everything what I ate was same. It was like eating sand.
The only taste I was able to recognize was the taste of salt.
The ice cream and pudding that were brought by the people who visited me at the hospital tasted salty. My toungue was detecting the taste of the salt that was mixed in the ice cream and pudding to add the taste on the sweets.
Other than the salt taste, I was becoming not able to distinguish.
The period of the radiation treatment was three weeks, twice a day. The total treatment consisted of two period having one week intermission in between.
It also became very difficult to go to the treatment room of the radiation therapy after a while but I went to take the radiation therapy walking on my own foot without using the wheel chair.