Friday, July 24, 2009

Chemo #1 Underway

Well shame on me for not updating last night or this morning, but can I just tell you I crashed. I was SO tired. Jeremy and I have not slept well all week and then the night before his first chemo I don't think either of slept at all....nerves I am sure. We both slept great last night and then when Carter laid down for his nap today I fell asleep on the couch for over 3 hours. I feel so much better and Jeremy does too.
So yesterday morning we got up early because I had a dentist appointment before Jeremy's treatment. Unfortunately his premeds made him a little sick, so he had a little trouble right off, but once we got there he was doing ok. They accessed his port and began by giving him his premeds for side effects, nausea and his stomach, from there he began his folfox treatment. They started the treatment at about 9:45 and we were there until about 1. We couldn't have asked for a nicer nurse. Her name was Linda and she was wonderful, she was very thorough and went through everything she did and explained what it was and why she was doing it. It was quite obvious we were both nervous. Jeremy and I chatted, read, and watched tv through the process. At the end of his treatment there she hooked him up to his pump of 5FU that he wears home for 2 days. Jeremy and I both expected a small pump and of course he had hoped for something that he could hide under his clothing, but when she brought it out, it was much bigger than we both expected(like the size of a large cordless phone or maybe bigger!). I mean it has to hold enough medicine for 2 days so I guess it can't be too small. Finally after much convincing Jeremy put the pump in a pack that he has to wear around his waist(not too happy but he embraced it after a few hours). Sleeping and showering have both proven to be a little difficult with the pump, but we know that he will get more used to it as time passes. Had trouble covering where the pump tubing goes into his port for his shower, so if any of you have any great ideas of how to cover it so it doesn't get wet, we would welcome your suggestions. We hang the pump bag on the shower door and that works well.
Of course both boys are pretty intrigued by the tubing and the medicine that is hooked up to daddy. Every 10 minutes I hear Carter ask daddy to see his owie! I explained to them that daddy is taking medicine and it is kind of like a bunch of army men going in and taking care of all the bad stuff in daddy's body and protecting him. Ian seemed to get it and was good with that explanation so all was well in his world.
Tomorrow morning we go back to the Oncology clinic where Jeremy has to have a panel of blood work done while his pump is still running. The nurse said that this is a new test and is actually still considered a study, what they do is they draw his blood while the pump is still running and check his therapeutic levels, this lets his dr. know if they are treating him right in his range or if they need to lower or higher his dosage. She said it is a very new test and very helpful in setting dosage levels. Weird thing was no chocolate the day before the test! Not a problem for him, but would have been for me. As long as he can still eat Judi's strawberry cake he is happy :). The day we got back from his chemo nothing really sounded good to him except for her cake and that night I found him back in the kitchen cutting another big piece of cake! The nurse said that it would definitely curb his appetite, so eat what sounds or tastes good.
Another side effect he is already come across is the numb mouth and needles in mouth and throat. This is apparently a very common side affect. When we got home that first day he fixed a big soda with ice and the next thing I knew I heard him making this crazy sound in the kitchen and he said it was just like needles in his mouth and his lips were numb, so today he has stuck to room temperature water. I can't even imagine how this would feel, but I could tell it was very uncomfortable. So in Jeremy's words he doesn't necessarily feel "normal", but doing ok. We spent all of last night and today resting. He will get the pump of tomorrow and I know he is so ready. I will keep you posted on how the treatment continues to affect him.
By the way he is enjoying the new bedroom and the boys are LOVING the playroom and I LOVE that the toys are all downstairs, it is wonderful.
Well that is all for tonight, hoping and praying for a good nights sleep for all of us.
Thank yous:
*Thank you to Larry and Mary for the delicious spaghetti dinner and the very sweet card. I enjoyed our visit when you came.
*Thank you to Brandy for the no bake cookies, that didn't even have peanut butter so that Carter could eat them!
*When Jeremy had his first treatment Melissa offered to keep the kids and I can't thank her enough! Not only did she keep the kids, but she took them to Rick's for breakfast, McDonald's for lunch, played kickball, Playstation, and Monopoly. I think the kids were hoping we had to go back today just so they could stay with Melissa! From the bottom of our heart thank you for all you have done for our family. You have to be the most giving person I have ever met and we love you bunches.
Looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend. No plans maybe a trip to Target to get a few things we have on our list, but mainly just more resting and relaxing because we know soon that will all end and work will soon be upon us.


Reba said...

I hope you know you NEVER have to apologize for not updating. Your normal right now is a little topsy turvy. You need to rest when you can! That is my order (for what it is worth :).

I have heard other people talk about the cold thing. They did stick with lukewarm drinks and absolutely NO ice. I hope that side effect is short lived!

Lots of hugs for you!

The Kinards! said...

Hi Jill, I've been following your blog for a little while now! I'm a nurse in Charleston, SC. Just wanted you to know that I'm praying for your family~ it's awesome that you have such wonderful, supporting friends & family to help you guys through this. Continue to stay strong, you are doing a GREAT job!! Just wanted you to know you have people everywhere sending up prayers! :)

jacci2715 said...

Hi Jill,
I saw your prayer request on Kelly's Korner and have just read through your blog. First of all, you have a beautiful family! And I just wanted to tell you that I will be praying for Jeremy, you, your boys and your families. My cousin who is my best friend, was just diagnosed with colon cancer in late March and is nearing the middle of her chemo treatments(folfox- maybe it is the same regimen as your husband.) I'm a physician assistant, so I was with her as she recieved information about her disease and treatmnt. It can be so overwhelming. But she is a tough cookie with so much support and it has made all the difference. It seems that you and your loved ones have the same strength and faith, so I know you all can get through this. You will always be in my prayers.