The Results

Today was the big day – it had become monumental in our lives and finally, finally it is over.

Yesterday my husband had his CT scan to see if the chemo he is presently on was an effective treatment.  He ended up having a full body, including head, CT scan.  He had to drink two large glasses of a mixture of apple juice, water and some type of dye prior to the scan.  The scan itself was uneventful.  The CT technician at the hospital was personable and friendly – nice guy, he’s done all of my hubby’s scans so far.  About four hours after the scan my husband’s troubles began.  He started to feel nauseous and ended up vomiting sporadically throughout the evening, overnight and into this morning.  As a result, and out of desperation, I called our GP.  It seemed cruel to take a guy who was feeling so awful to an appointment that involved driving a half hour and waiting two hours for blood work to be processed with the potential outcome of receiving bad news.  I asked the GP if I should put him through that, he’s such a nice man and deserves kindness.  Her answer was “he needs to go to this appointment.”  Okay, so be it.

My husband, me  and his nephew – who thankfully drove – set off for the hospital.   My husband did the blood work thing and then waited.  It was quite busy and we had to wait a little bit before seeing his Oncologist.  It was worth the wait.  The Oncologist did a review of the CT scan findings with us – with what we perceived to be an incredible outcome.  The nodules in his lungs appeared to have gone – this finding is qualified by the development of some pleural effusion which obscured some areas of the lung – so there could still be some cancerous nodules behind the pleural patches.  The tumor that had been identified as the primary was not visible in this CT scan.  The bony lesions appeared to be healing.  It was not all sunshine and lollipops – there are some concerns with the pleural effusion as well as the purpura and petechiae on his leg.  We left with a prescription to try and clear these up.  His chemo session for tomorrow was cancelled.  The Oncologist rescheduled us for next week when we will meet with him after he has done some consultation with his peers to develop a plan for the next stage of my husband’s treatment.

Simply put, as the Oncologist stated, “it is a very good outcome.”   Not out of the woods yet but significantly closer.  My husband will always be a cancer patient, we know that, but for right now he appears to have gained some quality time.  Thank you to the collective universe and all those sending positive thoughts his way.

My sister-in-law did well too.  The tumor they removed was larger than they anticipated.  Still her surgeon was pleased overall with how the surgery went.  She had a bit of a tough night last night due to pain, so hopefully the pain medication has been modified to address this.  In her case, there are some requirements physically before she can be released from the hospital – which is a good thing.  I suspect she will be in the hospital until Thursday at least.

Whew, this is one rollercoaster ride that has too many highs and lows.  I know that there remain a lot of unknowns and that next week may bring new information, but for now we are going to relax just a little bit.

A Cranky Man

It’s bound to happen during this whole ordeal.  A day where I am under fire for everything I do.  I push the pills at him, I nag him, I move things I shouldn’t, I won’t shut up and on and on.  Although it’s easy to get hurt, and I am, I get it.  I just happen to be the closest and most convenient person to let loose on.  So it’s a matter of time and space I think.  I’ve physically removed myself from his immediate area to give him some solitude.  It’s a frustrating journey for both of us. 

Today maybe I did invite a little backlash, but it had to be done.  It’s day five, post chemo treatment 2.  He had hydration day 1 and 2, but decided he could get his own fluids in for the next couple of days.  Well that was a dismal failure, so now he feels lousy.  He’s hardly drinking and hardly eating.  It’s a vicious circle – he needs to take the anti-nausea meds but he doesn’t feel like drinking.  His throat is sore, he has thrush, he doesn’t feel like eating.  The wash for his mouth makes him feel ill.  I can tell him all I want that eating food, drinking fluids and rinsing his mouth will make him feel better but, as he has pointed out, I don’t have a clue about what he’s feeling so just zip it.  So I have.  However, I left the anti-nausea meds by his chair (and he has taken them already), I’ve put two different kinds of beverages out for him to sip on (and he is), and he does the thrush rinse because he’s not stupid.  So I know it is frustration talking when he lashes out and I have to remember it’s not a personal attack.  This is likely a pretty normal situation for most caregivers but again it’s all new to me and it is my reality and so I cope.

Post Chemo – Day 3

The chemo treatment was Wednesday and we are now at Saturday.  Here is how the past few days played out.  Wednesday he was exhausted from the 5 hour treatment.  Not hungry nor thirsty.   Just sleepy.  On Thursday he woke up feeling good but went down hill fairly quickly with nausea and fatigue.  Not severe nausea since he was sent home with some meds (Emend) which worked very well.   He had some trouble getting in the 2 liters of water he needed to drink to flush his system out   The visiting nurse came to change the dressing on his picc line and assess how he was doing.  For dinner all he could manage was soup.  An early night but he slept soundly.

Friday we still had the anti nausea med so the nausea was well contained.  He had a visit from the GP to check out how he was doing.  Although he was tired he was a bit better than Thursday- still not interested in solid foods so it was another day of soup and scrambled eggs and the like.   And today, he is doing fairly well,  not really nauseous but not really interested in food. The fatigue is still there.

The apprehension going into this was huge.  We had so many people telling us how awful chemo was.  My husband had had such a terrible time with radiation treatments for his bone cancer that we had figured this would equal or surpass that experience.   So far, although the side effects are not pleasant, he is managing well.  We will keep our fingers crossed.