February 6, 2016

chemo begins

Oh friends.

Sob.

This is a rough road we're traveling.

I know it's been a while since I wrote an update. I had planned on writing on Wednesday evening, but that didn't happen.

Monday morning we drove up to Seattle to get pre-appointment bloodwork done. Todd was feeling pretty good and we spent all day Tuesday with my sister. We visited the aquarium. We had lunch. We hung out and made jokes and ate together and it was all so normal.

Wednesday we walked into our appointment meeting 2 new doctors, who exuded confidence, experience, and hope. Our new doctor knew exactly what he was looking at. There were all of a sudden no more maybes, no more doubts, no more questions. In fact, they let us ask all the questions we've been lacking answers to for the past 5 weeks.

It was the best feeling ever not to be wondering anymore.

Doc said he is going to fight this pretty aggressively. The cancer is spreading, but we also have every reason to believe that after 9 weeks of chemo, it will be totally gone.

My husband will live.

Sob.

So many emotions over the last 5 weeks have been surfacing all over again. All the fear, all the uncertainty, all the distress. I felt it all one more time as I had myself a cry and then it was all gone. Replaced by hope. By life. By the future.

Wednesday Doc said that it's looking like the soonest they can get us started with chemo would be Monday or Wednesday next week. When we went in Thursday for some more tests, we found out that it was starting in 24-hours.

I knew it was coming, but I hadn't yet digested what was happening.

When we left Portland on Monday to come to Seattle I packed 2 sets of clothes for each of us. And I didn't take my computer. I thought we'd be waiting more. Back to Portland. Waiting. But then, all of a sudden it was time.

Yesterday we started chemo. There's a huge learning curve. They said the first day is always the hardest, but it wasn't too bad. Day two is already proving harder. Hopefully this won't be a trend.

I might not write a bunch. It's hard to write about what's going on. Todd needs his privacy. I will try to write weekly updates, but the chemo schedule is as such that some weeks, thankfully, will be pretty uneventful. He's on 3-week cycles. It starts with 5 days (7 hours per day), then 2 days off, 1 day on, one week off, one day on, one week off, then the cycle starts over with 5 more long days. We'll do this 3 times. Then the cancer should be gone. Dead. Over. He'll have surgery about 2 months later to remove the parts of the tumor that the chemo leaves behind. After a few check ups, we should be free to go on our merry way. Right on back to our lives. To Guyana. To life without cancer.

Happy sob.

As for now, everyone keeps asking what we need. We are trying to figure out housing. We're hoping to stay in the cancer house, but insurance doesn't cover it like we had hoped. It may or may not cover the nights Todd has chemo, but even that we have to wait until Monday to figure out. Please pray about that. If it doesn't work out, we need to get an apartment. Some friends bought us a membership to the Pacific Science Center, there is also a children's museum I want to get a membership to. That should help keep the kids busy.

We're just going one day at a time. The nurses here are good, one of them just drug me to the little nourishment center and made me pick out some food. It's hard to feel hungry when I'm sitting by my husband, who is sleeping from all the meds they have to give him just to counter the effects of the chemo. It's hard to watch, but neither can I leave his side.

Todd's parents are here to help with the kids until Tuesday. Then the juggling will really begin. Sigh.

As hard as all this is, we are so, so thankful for so much. My husband will live! How can I complain about anything knowing that after this rough spell, we will be a normal family again? Every time I remind myself of that I can't think of anything to really complain about. We can do anything for 9 weeks. There is nothing we go through that God won't go through with us.

I'd better go eat my oatmeal now before I get in trouble with the nurse. Thank you all so much for traveling this journey with us. We appreciate your ongoing prayers!

4 comments:

TN Quiltbug said...

So very thankful about this great news! Completely understand your not having time to post very much, in addition to Todd needing his privacy. We continue to pray for all the details that need working out.

Wendy Ross said...

Will be continuing prayers for you all. :)

N Patricia Castillo said...

Hi,

You don't know me. A friend of mine placed you and your family on our prayer list and provided this link.

First, let me reassure you that many are now praying. You may not know us but we're praying.

Second, it's only when a loved one goes through cancer that you can truly understand everything that happens during chemo. My best friend, more like a sister,just completed 12 weeks of chemo on Feb 2. She had 4 cycles. I'm thrilled you will only have 3! She had 5 days on just like you guys and followed a similar schedule just had an extra cycle.

I wasn't prepared to see what happens to the body as you go through chemo--or to see her sleeping so much! She was easily sleeping 20 hours a day! She had tons of drugs to try to help her deal with the nausea. She only threw up a couple of times, though.

My friend is only 32 years old. She has 3 and 4 year old kids. I will give you advice and ask that you pay about it. My friend sent her kids to be with her parents for half of the chemo time--about 6 weeks. She wishes she would've sent them away earlier. I know it's a huge sacrifice but if there's a way for someone to care for your kids, it will free you up to focus on dealing with treatment. It was a huge help to my friend. Pray about it.

Lastly, remember that this, too, shall pass. My friend finished last week and she's already feeling better. She's slowly getting her strength back and she's laughing more again. Keep trusting Him. Know that people are watching how you guys handle this. One high school of Eve's (my friend) actually wants to attend church now because of how he saw Eve dealing with all of this. It will get better. He is with you. Keep trusting.

You'll all be in my prayers,
Pat

N Patricia Castillo said...

Hi,

You don't know me. A friend of mine placed you and your family on our prayer list and provided this link.

First, let me reassure you that many are now praying. You may not know us but we're praying.

Second, it's only when a loved one goes through cancer that you can truly understand everything that happens during chemo. My best friend, more like a sister,just completed 12 weeks of chemo on Feb 2. She had 4 cycles. I'm thrilled you will only have 3! She had 5 days on just like you guys and followed a similar schedule just had an extra cycle.

I wasn't prepared to see what happens to the body as you go through chemo--or to see her sleeping so much! She was easily sleeping 20 hours a day! She had tons of drugs to try to help her deal with the nausea. She only threw up a couple of times, though.

My friend is only 32 years old. She has 3 and 4 year old kids. I will give you advice and ask that you pay about it. My friend sent her kids to be with her parents for half of the chemo time--about 6 weeks. She wishes she would've sent them away earlier. I know it's a huge sacrifice but if there's a way for someone to care for your kids, it will free you up to focus on dealing with treatment. It was a huge help to my friend. Pray about it.

Lastly, remember that this, too, shall pass. My friend finished last week and she's already feeling better. She's slowly getting her strength back and she's laughing more again. Keep trusting Him. Know that people are watching how you guys handle this. One high school of Eve's (my friend) actually wants to attend church now because of how he saw Eve dealing with all of this. It will get better. He is with you. Keep trusting.

You'll all be in my prayers,
Pat

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