Earlier this week I noticed something peculiar about my hearing. One of our cats, Riley, has a collar with a bell. She’s a very active cat and the bell give us warning that she’s in the area!
I realized that I was no longer hearing Riley’s bell, so I figured it was missing or broken. After checking it out, the bell was not missing. So I asked Mary if she could hear the bell and she affirmed that she could hear it just fine. I thought that is weird because I’ve not noticed any other changes in my hearing. Dr. Barbara, my oncologist, made me promise that I would let her know if anything changed or if I had a temperature above 100.4.
So on Thursday I sent Dr. Barbara an email letting her know about my hearing loss/change. Vanderbilt has a great website (MyHealthAtVanderbilt.com) where you can track all your test results, appointments, billing, and you can email your doctors. Anyway, on Friday morning I received a phone call from a nurse at the Vanderbilt Otolaryngoloy clinic telling me that if I can get there in an hour, Dr. David could see me today. It turns out that Dr. Barbara had requested that Dr. David see me as soon as possible. She was concerned that the hearing loss was due to the chemotherapy.
First they tested my hearing. Then the examined my ears, mouth, throat, etc. The results – I do have hearing loss at high frequencies. However, the doctor said this is “normal” for someone “my age” – I guess that’s a compliment 🙂 Actually, he said that my hearing for the normal speaking range was better than most people “my age.” Another compliment 🙂
Although the recent hearing loss may be attributable to one of the chemotherapy drugs, Dr. David does not believe that it’s severe enough to alter future chemo treatments. That’s good news!