More Blip, More Anxiety
When undergoing radiation for cancer, minor deviances produce major concerns. For a non-participant, it may be difficult to fully appreciate , but each unanticipated blip becomes a quality of life issue. My intestinal flare-up reemerged this past weekend. On Monday when removing the balloon the attending technologist advised me to consult my doctor because of the apparent rectal bleeding that had occurred. Rectal bleeding is never a good thing. As a proton therapy patient it is a potential calamity. Accordingly my case manager arranged for a consultation with the on-duty physician within minutes following my treatment. TALK ABOUT RESPONSIVENESS; ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.
In any event the attending physician, an extremely conscientious caretaker, after reviewing my record and asking a host of relevant questions concluded: (1) This particular intestinal disturbance was most likely caused by dietary indiscretion. * I had consumed two beers and several handfuls of peanuts on Friday evening and (2) the bleeding resulted from a combination of the intestinal disturbance and the normal irritation which accompanies the usage of the balloon. In his professional opinion radiation was not a significant factor, and in due time I would be just fine. From my perspective, I had dodged another bullet.
*A note on diet. During the active treatment period, i.e., a five day work week, proton patients are expected to avoid gas producing foods and beverages including carbonated beverages, leafy green vegetables, fiber etc. Fridays are supposedly "free days" when it is acceptable to return to your normal diet. Apparently I found an exception to the exception.