Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Like I inhaled fire

I've lost about twenty pounds. My throat hurts, but it's a different kind of hurt. It's not like a sore throat or infection. It's like I inhaled fire and it's raw from the burn. I gargle a lot with the chamomile tea extract and the aloe vera recommended by The Klinik, which really helps. The "magic mouthwash" prescribed by the doctors in Los Angeles doesn't do anything except make me throw up.

I must admit: the morphine suckers work the best!

I know what you're thinking. But it’s not like I get up in the morning, pop a sucker and listen to Hendrix. I only use them as needed. Sorry, but I'd rather have a martini. No olives, though. I couldn't swallow them.

While I’ve been undergoing the treatments in Los Angeles, I've been in contact with my doctor at The Klinik in Germany. She wants me to come to The Klinik for treatments for side effects from the radiation.

Treatments to recover from the treatments...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Had radiation and chemo today. I don't feel all that great. The morphine suckers are working. I'm not in as much pain, which is good. However, it has taken me over two hours to write this blog. 

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Double radiation day

Today is a double radiation session day. 10:30 am and 4:20 pm. Two radiation treatments because it's a holiday week and they won’t be open on Christmas Day. When I told my business partner I was doubling up because of the day off, he said, “If that’s the case, then why don’t you get all the treatments at once, over 48 hours?”

I told him that if I did that, there wouldn’t be anything left. I’d be burnt to a crisp.

My throat is really, really sore. With that and the chemotherapy, I was in bed most of the weekend. I tried writing a blog entry, but I think it was too short to post:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

See what I mean?

I don't like that "magic mouthwash" stuff and I don't like taking OxyContin because that stuff screws you up.

So my doctors here in Los Angeles are getting me morphine suckers. They’re lollipops laced with morphine.

I hope they have raspberry flavor. That’s my favorite.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today the radiation machine broke

Today the radiation machine broke. Then they fixed it. Then I got fried.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My throat is absolutely killing me

Wednesday is a radiation and chemotherapy day. My throat is absolutely killing me and I feel sick. The best thing about today is that I ran into Farrah at the clinic here in L.A. It was great to see her and she looked fantastic.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ten down, thirty to go

Today was my tenth radiation session. Just thirty more to go.

One of the radiation doctors examined me today, looked in my mouth and down my throat. She was amazed how clean it looked, no sores or inflamed areas.

She asked if I was taking the prescribed meds they gave me and I told her the truth.

I said my doctor at The Klinik in Germany had told me to gargle with and drink chamomile tea extract and to do the same with aloe vera, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

She was actually amazed. But now that my throat is getting sore and my voice is getting raspy and I sound like a cross between Bill Clinton and Harvey Fierstein, I’m going to get what they call “Magic Mouthwash,” which is Maalox or Mylanta, Xylocaine viscous, Decadron or hydrocortisone, Benadryl, Nystatin and sometimes tetracycline or erythromycin, depending on what your doctor prescribes.

I get Mylanta, Xylocaine viscous and Benadryl with three olives and barely a drop of vermouth… shaken.

I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I started radiation yesterday afternoon.

It was... interesting.

I just lay there with my mask, anchored to a table and this machine moved around me and stopped in eighteen different positions and radiated me.

At this point I don't feel anything. But they told me that sometime around the tenth session I'll start feeling the sore throat, and by the end of the third week I won't be eating solid foods anymore because it'll be too hard to swallow.

I'll lose my ability to taste for about six to eight months, but they tell me that will come back.

Radiation kills saliva glands. So Dr. Copps, my dental oncologist, gave me some medicine called Salagen. The medicine will help create more saliva from the glands that make it through the treatment.

With my luck, the radiation won't kill any saliva glands and I'll be drooling like a St. Bernard.

But that wasn't the end of it.

There's a prescription drug called OmniiGel. I need it for post-radiation. My prescription co-pays fifteen dollars for it. But today I was told by the pharmacist that my insurance company says OmniiGel is an over-the-counter purchase, not a prescription drug and refuses to pay its share.

So now it costs me sixty dollars.

When I got in the car, I called my insurance company and told them this was a prescription drug.

The person said I was wrong, that it's an over-the-counter drug.

So I asked herwhere I could go and buy this medicine over-the-counter, without a prescription.


She put me on hold.

A supervisor came on. We had a similar conversation.

Then I asked her the same question: "Can you please tell me where I can get this medicine over the counter?"

No answer. She'll get back to me tomorrow.

What happened today is a perfect example of how the insurance companies make it up as they go.

As for me? Just twenty-nine more radiation sessions and I'm done.

Today, I start chemo at noon and radiation at four.

Really, the only fun I'm having is working on that live album with my brothers from 1978.

I'll let you know what the insurance company says.

If they ever call me back.