Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Notes on chemo

We made it through the first one. And as I type this, just hours after leaving the cancer center, Mike is at his desk working...

The two-hour thing was a bit misleading. It takes two hours for the Erbitux, but we were in the chemo room a good five hours. They also run Benadryl through the IV and make you stick around a while to monitor your reaction. But it went ok. Mike ate a hot dog during treatment so he couldn't have been feeling too bad.

So, the news from the day: I wrote in my last post that Erbitux didn't mix with his other chemo. But I misunderstood. Apparently, they just want to "frontload" it, give it by itself the first time to make sure all goes well. Then next week, it will be in the mix with the other chemo drugs, which means chemo will take 7 1/2 hours now, instead of five. So that's how we'll be spending our fourth wedding anniversary -- in chemo recliners from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Luckily, we'll have some good tunes thanks to all your ideas..

We also learned that Erbitux is a weekly drug. So our schedule has changed a bit. Next Tuesday is the real deal -- all the drugs, all day long. We won't have that again until July 1. The weeks in between will just be Erbitux, and they promise us the next time it really will only take two hours.

So, I think that's all the pertinent info.

Being in the chemo room though was a bit unsettling. The nurses all have a sense of humor and it's very bright in there. But it doesn't make you forget where you are. I watched one elderly woman taking care of her husband of probably decades. She cut his sandwich, opened his soda, put a blanket on his feet. She was so loving and her husband looked so weak, it just broke my heart. And I also saw a mom there, scarf covering her bald head, accompanied by her young daughter, probably 5 years old. I ache when I think of that image. That little girl must be so scared seeing her mommy so sick. I said a little thank you that Julia doesn't know what's going on. Right now, her dada is just her dada, same as ever. And that is a huge motivation for Mike to fight this thing and beat it.


Anonymous said...

thinking of you every day,
give me a call when you are up to it.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mike,

If you approach this like you do your writing, you'll be fine in no time!

Thoughts and prayers!!!

Phil Caskey