I can’t say I wasn’t warned.

It’s been 8 days since my last round of radiation and chemotherapy. Every person on my care team warned that the weeks afterwards would not be easy, and could possibly be even worse. Even as I heeded their warnings, it was all too easy to start thinking it was almost over. It wasn’t.

This last week has been an absolute roller coaster of a ride. My newest regimen of pain medicines had me feeling steady for a day or two, and then it seemed like they weren’t working at all. I lost entire days. My throat has never hurt worse. The headaches were debilitating — blinding, almost. My weight has dropped to my high-school numbers.

Then there were days like Saturday, where my opioids kicked into overdrive and had me in a delusional, although relatively low-pain, state. Then the pain returned with a vengeance the next day, and decided to stay awhile.

At this point, when my eyes click open in the morning, I do a physical and mental checklist. Throat? Headache? Phlegm? And on and on. This morning was the first one in a few where I felt almost normal. I was like Grandpa Joe once Charlie got the golden ticket — ready to dance and take on the world!

Even the nurses at the Cancer Institute noticed my improved status. I still go in for fluids several times a week, and the last few times I visited they probably thought I was going code blue on them.

So as every one says, I’m still taking it one day at a time. Actually more like one day-part at a time. But my recovery is progressing. Today the right of my throat feels relatively normal, for the first time in godonlyknows. I don’t know how long the feeling will last, but I’m thankful for it right now.