It has been awhile since I have posted a new entry – sorry for the delay. Truth be told, our days and weeks sometimes just sort of blend together into one long event, and most of the time it isn’t all that exciting. We aren’t going sightseeing, we’re not riding our bikes, we’re not blazing any new trails that would make for a good story. We’re just going about the business of doing all that we can do to return David to good health so that we can get back out on the road and play again. Those of you that have walked a path similar to the one we’re currently on can probably identify with this. Having said that, there are a few things that I will mention to bring you up to current with us.
June 21 marked a bit of a milestone for David. On this date, he completed his 12th infusion of taxol. This was the end of round 2 (round 1 was surgery). Round 3 was scheduled to begin the following Wednesday, June 28. Round 3 consists of 4 infusions of what is called A/C (adriamycin/cytoxan). Everyone is different, but most people say that this round is harder on the body than the taxol. So we were both a bit anxious about it. But before round 3 began, two things happened. First, June 26, is David’s birthday, so that was a happy and expected event. What also happened on June 26 was not so happy and was totally unexpected – we grabbed some essentials and moved out of Ark III and into a hotel. But, more on that later……
David received phone calls from all of the kids, and he enjoyed them immensely. Here is a leftover of one birthday gift.
Of course, you have to imagine it with yummy fruit on all of those empty sticks. Thanks very much, Rebecca..you can clearly see that we enjoyed it.
We have mentioned David’s physical therapy team a number of times and how much we appreciate them. Well, at one of David’s recent PT appointments, we were able to gather them all together for a picture. In the red is Nancy, in the middle is Tracy, and in the dark blue is Dawn. We love you all!!!! You are awesome!
When not at a medical appointment, we try to participate in some of the classes that are offered for the cancer patients and their caregivers. One of them is Therapeutic Drumming. It is led by a certified music therapist, and it is a blast. Our tailpipe neighbors Dudley and Sherree talked us into trying it. Dudley said that you simply couldn’t think about your cancer while in this class. The therapist keeps you so busy learning rhythms and laughing that your mind is totally engaged for the entire hour.
We have also gone to Tibetan Meditation, gotten massages, tried a yoga class, I’ve started a circuit exercise class, and I’ve even had a couple of acupuncture sessions and am scheduled for a third one next week. Cooking demonstrations once a month when our schedule allows rounds out our non medical activities at the hospital. We’re grateful that these opportunities are available for us as they sort of soften the edges of otherwise stressful circumstances.
Two days after we moved into the first hotel, David had his first A/C infusion. The infusion was preceded by 4 anti nausea and relaxation medications. The first of the cancer drips was the adriamycin, and it is red. Kind of disconcerting at first. There are some nicknames given to this particular med, and the most common one we have heard is the red devil. Upon reflection we decided to think of it as the healing Blood of Christ. After that drip is completed, the second cancer drip is the cytoxan. It looks just like most other iv solutions….it’s clear. Anyway, the whole thing start to finish takes about 3.5-4 hours. Just as with the taxol, we pack David’s hands and feet in ice, and he sucks on ice chips the whole time. Big difference is how he feels afterwards. There is a lot of nausea associated with this stage of treatment, so he has nausea meds to take. He also sleeps a lot. His skin is very dry, his vision is affected, and he runs down very quickly. These infusions are spaced 21 days apart, and he is at higher risk for infection for the first 7 -10 days of the cycle before his body starts to build back up. On July 19 was David’s second A/C infusion. As I write this, he is just a couple of full days out from the infusion, and it’s a real butt kicker (his words, not mine). But he is learning his limitations and listening to his body as it processes these new drugs, and he is resting and taking his meds very faithfully.
We are on our third hotel since leaving Ark III on David’s birthday. Being away from our little home has thrown us even further off our game. But Ark has been sick, so we’ve been working on it as we can in between infusions and appointments. It is now getting better, so I think we’ll be back home in just a few more days. Yay!!!!!!!!!