It's about a month and a half since the end of Unit Zero's chemo and radiation. I thought you might like another update.
He has had followups with the surgical ENT and the medical oncologist. They said the first set of testing to ensure the cancer's gone will be scheduled for October. While the radiation sunburns on the outside of his neck healed right up, the inside of his throat is healing much more slowly. He has taken a scant few attempts at swallowing normal liquids and soft foods, but it is still far too painful to meet his nutritional needs by mouth. The feeding tube will have to remain in place until he's eating enough on his own to maintain a healthy weight. We're not there yet. However, some foods seem to have flavor. We're very hopeful for the return of his taste buds.
Mainly, he's resting a lot, interrupted by coughing up crud. We're striving against odds to provide a suitably restful environment while life goes on around him. The kids took charge of his care when I was recently drawn away to help my elderly dad during a ten day hospital visit for pneumonia. We were the last ones restored- after 4 days- when the metro area had widespread power outages from the storms a couple weeks ago, but a neighbor let us use one plug off his generator so UZ had his phone charged for his Kindle app to keep him amused. He's such a big reader. Our drains backed up sewage from the recent Detroit flooding, but we've been able to keep him at the farthest part of the house from the contamination and hopefully his suppressed immune system will not be compromised.
We lost a cat to cancer at the same time UZ was in diagnostics and our remaining cat should have a companion. We brought home a new kitten this week as UZ's belated birthday present. The kitten is a joyful focus for Eric and the whole family.
As he transitions from short term to long term disability, I'd love to be able to talk about Eric's great strides towards recovery, but we're just not there yet. His brother came from out of town for a weekend visit, and even though he stayed elsewhere and only came to the house for a few hours at a time to sit on the couch together and watch movies, it was exhausting. He couldn't get out of bed for the next few days. We're just doing our best to make sure he can get the rest his body seems to need for this tough recovery.
Because we're getting slammed every time we try to get back on our feet, I'm asking once again if anyone could find it in their heart to support our fundraiser. The financial counselor at the hospital has agreed to put our $12,000 account on hold until we get back on our feet, but the bills for all the other providers are stacked up. I'd be happy to work with them, but you can't squeeze blood from a stone. Our homeowners insurance is capped for sewage backup losses, and the company that came to do the cleanup took the majority of those funds. The city is taking claims for loss of possessions, which will hopefully replace the children's beds, dressers and bookcases. I have no idea how we will pay to put back the carpet and walls that make the basement into a finished living space that's suitable for bedrooms. That transition to long term disability is dropping our income by another 25%, which means we will be able to make about 3/4 of our regular bills, without eating. We'd be grateful for any support.