Just tell me the truth
I'm not a baker. I don't sugarcoat things.
That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.
John Green — "The Fault in Our Stars"
Doctors, I've learned, seem to have a flair for understatement.
At least the ones I've been dealing with do. Here's a prime example. Everyone told me that my mouth and throat would get sore from the radiation and that it would be very difficult if not impossible to eat anything. That's why we put in the feeding tube — so I could still have a way to get nutrition in case it got that bad. But here's the part they didn't say. They didn't say that anything having to do with my mouth would hurt. Including the fact that it's just sitting there attached to my face. They didn't say that the entire inside of my mouth and even my tongue would be covered in lesions and ulcers. They didn't say that brushing my teeth — which I'm supposed to do more often because of the loss of some saliva glands — would become all but impossible. They didn't say that it would hurt to yawn, to speak, to even think too hard about the fact that it hurts.
When it comes to things like this, I'm not one who wants to be coddled. I'd rather hear a worst case scenario and prepare for that and then be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't get that bad. I don't like it when I prepare for a rose colored glasses presentation and then it ends up being so much worse. Maybe part of it's my fault for not probing deeper about it but, when all of this was unfolding, there was so much information coming at me from so many different directions that I admittedly got a bit overwhelmed. I honestly didn't know what to even ask. The other part is that I expect — perhaps naively — that the medical professionals will tell me everything I need to know. All I know now is that this sucks. A lot.
I know that this is temporary and I'm trying not to complain too much but sometimes I just need to let out my frustration. This should only last for another month or so -- about two more weeks of treatments and then another couple weeks for the pain to subside. Unless, of course, they understated that part too.
OK. I'm done venting now. Sigh.