At one point during chemo, mouth sores were threatening. My breast care coodinator warned me to be proactive, as she had seen people in the hospital on a morphine drip from the pain of mouth sores! I called my doctor and discussed it, and we decided I didn’t have “sores” at that point, just “anomolies.” My doctor encouraged me to get gentle mouthwash and rinse every hour.
Now, seriously, gargle every hour? That night, I lay in bed thinking about what I was going to write in my blog. I started praying, and God turned my self-pity into laughter. He gave me a picture of the previous Friday, when I was so weak and a friend came over to help me. My friend would come over and say “You need to drink something, Marla.” Suddenly I had a picture of her as a cheerleader, cheering me on by saying “Sip, Marla, Sip. Spit, Marla, Spit.” I fell asleep laughing at the picture.
By the next morning, the laughter had nudged me over my frustration and I had a better attitude. I accepted gargling as a task, and did my best.
At one point I was prescribed “magic mouthwash,” which contained a pain killer. My mouth was so numb I bit my tongue. I found out one of the ingredients was Mylanta, so I gargled with that. There is a tiny line inside our mouths that normally feels smooth. If that line ever felt rough, I would gargle every hour I was awake until the line was smooth again.
I’m grateful for helpful professionals and medicines. I’m grateful I don’t have to gargle every hour any more!