Saw Dr. Sanfilippo (the radiation oncologist) and his team. They weren’t surprised that the voice was coming back slowly, but they were surprised and worried by the persistent productive cough. Recommended a chest X-ray to rule out an infectious bronchitis or pneumonia. Did that; film came back ambiguous. I’m prepared to wager it’s the same radiation scarring that showed up on the X-ray three months ago, but I’ll ask Dr. Sulica to check when I see him Thursday. Dr. Sanfilippo suggested that the cough might be self-reinforcing through continued irritation of the throat, which certainly seems to be what’s happening. If that’s the case, than an asthma inhaler such as Advair might suppress the irritation long enough to suppress the cough long enough to relieve the irritation. Again, a question for Dr. Sulica.
The voice should continue to improve. In the long run, I now learn, it might be a little bit deeper, which would definitely be an improvement. It also might be a little bit softer, but I’ve always had volume to spare.
Yes, Dr. Sanfilippo will write a letter clearing me for the transplant. It’s close to certain that this tumor is gone, but there is some risk (10%?) of a recurrence over the next couple of years, so I’ll have to see him and Dr. Sulica every few months just to get checked out.