Back from Aix-en-Provence: best “chemo break” ever! But more on that later.

OK France was really fun.  But today I am too tired to do a good post about it with beautiful pictures to make you jealous of my life, etc. We fit the 13-day trip in around my usual chemo schedule so I had chemo the day before we left, and this morning (we arrived home at 12:30 am today).  After chemo I had an afternoon appointment with an ENT (ear/nose/throat) doctor to check out my various throat-related symptoms I’ve been experiencing and complaining about since mid-June–the stuff diagnosed preliminarily as GERD due to continued steroid use.

I really liked the guy, despite the fact that he stuck a camera up my nose and down my throat to take a video of my vocal cords, etc.  It was fun to see the video and have him explain what he saw.  Which was: left vocal cord weakness and related dysfunction of epiglottis, etc. caused by damage to a motor branch of the vagus nerve that controls that stuff.  This explains my weird cough, not being able to close my throat completely (like when popping ears on an airplane), my hoarseness, my lack of voice projection/loudness, my more frequent coughing while drinking and coughing when laughing, and my shortness of breath also–even though that seems like a lot.

The treatment: speech & swallow therapy.  Can’t get an appointment with the speech therapist guy the ENT works with until August 11 though (bummer).  Also, it has all gotten a bit less acute, so maybe it will just continue to get better on its own some more.

The cause: unknown.  Maybe chemo…chemo damages nerves.  Maybe the brain-zapping…somehow indirectly (I’ve never been zapped very near this nerve).  The swelling from brain-zapping?

More on France tomorrow or soon!

One thought on “Back from Aix-en-Provence: best “chemo break” ever! But more on that later.

  1. Shelly

    Welcome back! Looking forward to hearing about your trip. Glad your throat symptoms seem explainable and treatable. Also glad they’re less acute: Maybe more time in France is needed? 🙂

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