Before my dad starts his treatment regimen, there were a couple of loose ends that needed to be tied. Through my experience with head and neck radiation, it becomes very hard for the patient to eat. Most patient have feeding tube placed so that if the burn to the throat and mouth area becomes too bad, the tube can be used to supplement protein shakes. The Radiation Oncologist told me that it wasn't mandatory, but if we wanted to be pro-active, he would put the referral through. So that process was taken care of and he had his tube placed last week. It was a same day procedure and he did just fine. He is currently supplementing the shakes about 3 times a day, but he is still able to eat and drink whatever he likes. I'm sure if it got down to it, he would figure out some way to get his Margarita down the tube also! You know life and death situations:) We had decided after this recurrence that we wanted to see a different Oncologist, since none of us were too thrilled with his last one. Another referral had to be sent out and of course authorization from the insurance. After that was all taken care of we got an appt to see the Oncologists at Loma Linda. I went with my dad to his appt and we both really liked this doctor. He and his nurse were awesome. I talked to them about a PICC line, which will be where my dad can get his chemo through. The nurses can also draw blood out of it and since he will have to have his blood drawn once a week and chemo also, the PICC line saves him from 2 pokes a week.
My dad started his treatment regimen last monday 8/3/09. He does the radiation everyday, mon-fri for about 30 minutes a day. I will let him tell you all about that, because he's as amazed by it as I am. His chemotherapy is once a week at Loma Linda Chemo Suite and he loves it there. My mom and I were with him on his first day, and everytime someone called to check on him he was at a different 4 star hotel. He said he was at the Four Seasons, Bellagio or the Hilton. He has his own little cubical, with a comfy recliner, flat screen TV and DVD player. He can't wait to take movies to watch. There also were some volunteers that brought a snack cart by the chairs and offer goodies to the patients AND the families! It's really nice and much better than where we were before. One week down!