On tax day, April 15, was the first time since cancer treatment that I didn’t need a jacket in my office. The temperature extremes seem to be fading. I no longer feel like I’m freezing until I start sweating. There are increasing periods of time when I just feel comfortable. I went jogging — more than 2 miles in 92 degree temperature and while I was hot and sweating, I didn’t feel shockingly uncomfortable.
The exaggerated pain seems to be subsiding. This was an unusual side effect because I don’t remember seeing it in the fine print, but other patients have reported the same complaint. I felt a shocking pain when I got my flu vaccine. I screamed several times during an acupuncture treatment; I’ve never felt pain during acupuncture. My dentist tried to remove a temp crown and seat the permanent crown without anesthesia. His assistant was shocked how much I groaned. She said this procedure normally doesn’t hurt clients. Finally, it was my dentist, Dr. Robbie Henwood, who did the math. I explained the previous situations where I felt a sharp pain — the vaccination, the acupuncture and when the dentist suction device touched my tongue. He suggested that it might be a neurological side effect from the cancer treatment. Regardless of why I was experiencing the sensation of pain, the dental team thought perhaps they should use an anesthetic gel on me for the next treatment.
I don’t have thrush. I got in to see infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Carl Burkowitz on a recommendation from my oncologist Dr. Gladys Rodriguez because I’d had thrush symptoms from late November through March. He looked at my mouth and said this is not thrush. He explained that thrush would not be limited to my tongue. It would spread over the gums and up the wall of the cheek. I asked him what it was and he said he didn’t know, but it was more of an ENT problem. It was not a problem in his area of expertise. So, I went back to Dr. Noorily who said, “Didn’t I say that the first time I saw this?” Yes, he did. What is it? He said simply there are a range of problems that grown on the tongue, but most cause no problems and have no cure except time. Any idea what it is? I don’t know, he said. I asked both doctors if we could do a tongue scraping and try to find out what it is. Both said the culture would just grow the natural flora and fauna of the tongue and mouth.
I continue to have dry mouth, a kind of white moss growing on my tongue, constipation and diarrhea, night sweats, sleeplessness, fatigue. I also have pain on my tongue and mouth that makes it uncomfortable to brush my teeth and impossible to eat food with spice. It’s uncomfortable to eat food with vinegar or a tomato base.
My weight is up to 120. My body fat hovers between 20 and 24%. Dr. Finnie Mitchell estimated my Body Mass Index at 20. My blood pressure remains mildly low and my white blood cells are still lower than normal. My thyroid is still showing as slightly over medicated.