Monday, February 15, 2016

Cycle Three, engage.

Well, here we are, the beginning of Cycle 3 of chemo.  To say the first two were easy, well, they weren't.  The good news is, we are at the start of the half-way point!  We get through these next two weeks of treatment, then some imaging before we start the next round to get an idea of where we are and where we're going.  So hopefully, the imaging will come back clean and we have no changes to the regimen.   But as I am learning with chemo, you can never plan ahead.  Seems like any times I say, "hey, we get there early, get in and treated and we're out the door!"  Well, today is another reminder of that just doesn't happen that way.  You see, Denise has to have blood drawn before every treatment and when she did on Friday, her white blood cell count was pretty high, so they wanted to do another blood test before her treatment. And they are running behind.  Nothing against the lab team, this is a busy place, but just proves the point that this whole process goes at it's time, not ours.

So anyways, were did I leave off?  Quick review of the blog, ah yes, the port installation.  There's really not a whole lot to report with that.  It was on the first treatment of the second cycle and was not much of an event other then Denise being awake the whole time.  After the port installation, it was back across the campus to the other building we have chemo in and then we were out the door.  She was pretty sore for the next couple of days, but returned to work that week.  But in the back of our minds we knew that the big "two treatment week" was just a week away.  Last time we had the two treatments, she ended up in the hospital.  So this time I tried to get her to drink water as much as possible.  But with her sleeping so much, it was hard for her to keep up with the fluids so we were heading down the path of urinary infection and dehydration.  Denise put a call into our general doctor and got a prescription called in.  That might have done the trick because we stayed out of the hospital this time.  But for the next week, she was just nuked.  Sleep and a lot of it.  She was also having a lot of light-headedness too, but they think that got that traced back to her blood pressure medicines and they cut those back.  She also got a clean bill of health from the cardiologist too!  The heart monitors did pick up anything abnormal and the echo cardiogram they did on her heart was good as well! The cutback on her meds seems to work as she is not having a problem with dizziness any longer.  Luckily, she made it back to work this past week for a few days and seemed to tolerate that, but was pretty tired when her shift ended.

Taking care of a chemo patient is interesting experience.  I guess my advice for someone that is going to be one is to throw out plan making.  Just go with the flow.  Like the joke goes, "How do you make God laugh?  Tell him your plans for the day."  The same holds true here.  

Want to share a cool story from last week.  I was working from home keeping an eye on her and I noticed the mail truck pull up the drive.  I went out to meet them and she handed me two boxes.  One from Ireland and one from South Carolina.  You see, before I blogged on here, I had another blog and was part of a community of liked minded people that met once a year in Orlando at a software conference.  Over the years, I have made some very good friends through this community and two of them sent along some care packages for Denise.  We were blown away.   So Susan and Steve, again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

So, that's it for this update.  Denise and I want you all to know that we really, truly appreciate all the prayers, thoughts, positive vibes, good mojo headed her way.  It really means the world to us.

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