Part 1. My health status.
A few days ago, I was thinking to myself that since I began radiation treatments, I have never felt better. My cough and shortness of breath have significantly improved. My exercise tolerance has improved. I even climbed 3 flights of stairs at one point during this cruise. But peripheral neuropathy has changed little, but I think that the extent of the neuropathy has decreased in that there is less loss of sensation in the mid-calf level than there was. Before the cruise, I complained of some pain which appeared to come from the area one of my right lower ribs. Of course, whenever there is unexplained pain, one immediately thinks that it may be metastatic disease. However I think that I must've pulled a muscle while coughing, as the pain has gone away.
At the end of the cruise, on Friday night, I began to have severe heartburn. This became substantially worse on Saturday and Saturday night. I have had some difficulty explaining this. It felt like heartburn in that it was a burning pain centered on the lower chest, just like heartburn that I used to have before I began taking Prilosec. However it did not seem to be related to acid reflux as I have been on full doses of Prilosec, and the pain seemed to be at its worst right after and during eating. On about 2 occasions, the pain was so severe that I was postulating that may have torn the mucosa of the esophagus. Of course, when this happens, one immediately becomes convinced that there is now metastatic disease or that the tumor in my lower esophagus has again begun to grow. However I am now theorizing that this was due to viral infection as I was exposed significantly during this cruise as I will describe below. In fact, I am feeling significantly better, and this pain has almost completely gone away.
In summary, I am back to thinking optimistically, that, knock on wood, I'm feeling about as well as I have ever since I began radiation treatments.
Part 2. The Family Cruise