Thursday, March 24, 2011 2:01 PM
Well… we now know more about chemo and are one step closer to the healing process!
Paul met with the chemo department Oncologists yesterday- discussed the different types available and they decided Cysplatin. (He has the folder today with all the important stuff- so I am going by memory here) Also- because his white blood levels are normally low- they want to do another drug along with it to boost it… I can’t remember that name. Seems like it is Nag- something…
The chemo treatment will begin on Tuesday the 29th- before the radiation. They will do it the 1st and second day- the 22nd and the 23rd day- then possibly a third time before he is all done. Chemo does not kill the cancer. It enhances the radiation treatments. It boosts the effectiveness of the radiation.
It takes about five hours for one session. They will do it through an IV- and they need to hydrate him for two hours before- then an hour for the treatment- then hydrate him for two hours afterwards. There is a room with several recliners- people were just sitting around hooked up and eating lunch, when we went by… He was excited to see that they feed you while you’re sitting there!
There are some possible side effects to chemo- this particular one can be harsh on the kidneys. The main reason is because of dehydration. He must stay hydrated- especially the days before the chemo treatments- and afterwards. The other side effects were discussed and he has to communicate any changes throughout the whole process. If they stay on top of it- then the side effects are not permanent.
Then after that three hours- and a blood draw- we strolled up to the 7th floor for the g-tube. (Feeding tube) We were about 1 1/2 hours late for the appointment- so it put everyone behind. Couldn’t help it- they take a really long time in the chemo/oncology department. (It was mentioned several times- you will always be there for a few hours… bring a book- because of the economy and what have you… it’s extremely busy!)
What I mean by putting everyone else behind is- it takes two Dr.’s to perform this procedure. One to guide the tube down his throat- and another to make the incision. It’s a long tube- with a light and a camera on it… they slid it down his throat- took pictures of the inside of his stomach- then shine the light outward. The other Dr. made the incision and then they pull the tube through. It has a plug on the one end- that’s what is in his stomach- then roll up the hose and clip it on the outside of his belly.
I don’t know about anyone else- but I thought it would be like a little nub sticking out of his belly- nope- it’s a 12+ inch tube. They showed us how to flush it- sent us with a bunch of reading material- and we were on our way. (Made a pit stop at the cafeteria for some soup- Paul was ready for something!)
We stopped in the Birch Run area- at Cracker Barrel for dinner. They warned us against anything greasy… so we thought some good ole comfort food. After dinner, Paul’s sugar crashed. Probably because of not being able to eat all day… then just a small thing of soup- who knows… so he gobbled a candy bar and we sat in the car until it passed. He was sweating and shaking- and his stomach really started hurting at this point. He took a pain pill- and we hit the road. (I drove)
The roads were fine- until we hit the Zilwaukee bridge… the wind picked up and things started to get a little sketchy… but we made it. I just kept thanking all the angels who had our backs!
This morning Paul had to flush the tube with water- and remove the bandages. He did fine… a little shaky at first- but it’s all new. I almost called Darlene – he said no- don’t bother her. (Darlene is my friend who is an RN) Anyhow- he is super sore- not sure if it’s the incision or if it’s things just moving differently… I guess we will know more in a few days.
Paul wanted to get away for the weekend- but I talked him into just staying home… there really is no place like home. He has to head back to Ann Arbor on Monday- for a dental appointment; an appointment with the ENT Dept. (Ear/Nose/Throat) Then treatment begins on Tuesday!
It seems like he just gets healed up from one thing- then has another to deal with… I admire his strength. It’s getting closer- then the healing will begin. It’s really just a bump in our road. We were talking on the way home yesterday… one of the reasons I love the trips with him is because of our talks… anyway- we were talking about getting this behind us and getting on with the rest of our lives. Our favorite saying to each other is- Forever isn’t long enough!
I am asking for more strength and extra prayers now… Now is when he needs to feel it the most. Things are going to get crazy- and the more we can surround him in love- the more he will feel okay.
Okay is a great place to be today….
Thank you to all the wonderful friends who have blessed us in so many ways. Thank you to Andrew and Jennifer for the munchies and the car… Thanks to Missy for the protein and goodies… Thanks to Helen for the gas card… Thank you to the Stella’s for the visa gift card… and thank you to Sharon for the gas money! You guys are amazing- and we feel super blessed to have the support that we do.
Until we know more….