As we wrap up week three of this process, it signifies what we hope to be the quarter done mark. Four rounds of three weeks is the goal, and I hope that visits with the doctor next week come with indications that things are progressing well, that the chemo is working as intended. The side effects have not yet been as bad as expected, but I can definitely tell my immune system is worn down, and I am noticeably tired for much of the day.
This past week has also included back pain. It makes the day more uncomfortable, and isn’t helping me sleep any better. Hopefully Tiah will be able to massage it a bit tonight to alleviate it, and I also ordered a massager which should be here tomorrow. Relief from the back pain would be very welcome.
My appetite, for the most part, remains intact. There are times in which I don’t necessarily feel like chowing down at a traditional meal time, but it usually subsides within a couple hours. Protein and hydration are still the big things, so we’re trying to keep a supply of snacks with high water content or high protein. Grapes, watermelon, jerky, nuts, those have been nice snacks to have around.
This week also brought about the hair loss. Tiah has thought for the past 10 days it was thinning a bit, but a few days ago there was no second guessing that. The clippers will likely come out again this weekend to take it all the way down. When thinking about hair loss, the obvious thoughts go to your head and face. What I hadn’t considered was the possibility of eyebrows disappearing, or even eye lashes. Those are different feelings as well, and will make the summer more interesting.
Looking ahead, the chemo process still makes me nervous. We have a better idea of how this works now, but there are still unknowns as to how bad it could get. Nausea is my great fear, it is not something I want to deal with. But how run down will my system get? Will there come a point where I basically sleep all day? I’m hitting a point where I often feel chilled, which brings some context to why the nurses always ask if I want a blanket.
Joy In Food
The meal train provides an element of hope, something to look forward to. I enjoy when people make their specialties. I’m not terribly picky, though there are some things I’d rather not have (chicken on the bone annoys me), but I’m still a red blooded American boy who grew up on German food and church potlucks. There are always the things that mom or grandma made that stick with you, and hopefully you learned to cook as well, but when someone can share that special thing they make, it’s a great treat.
Macaroni salad was the first thing I learned to make, because mom decided I was old enough to demonstrate how to do something at 4-H. Over the years that branched out to a variety of things, but Tater Tot Hotdish, Enchiladas, and Lasagna are high on the list of my go to recipes. I’m fortunate that mom gathered such an excellent collection of recipes over the years. Yet, there’s things we didn’t make growing up. Tiah tells me we’ll be getting some knoephla and sausage tonight, and I’m super excited for it.
Now that I rambled on about food, back to chemo. Next week starts round two. A full 5 days of chemo. Monday is going to be a long day, starting with blood work and a doctor visit, it might be 10:30 until we actually get to the infusion center, which puts us into a full day at the hospital. I’m thankful for the nurses who take such great care of us. They’re friendly, patient, and always on top of things. With the drama happening over at St. A’s and some committees calling for the firing of administrative staff, I’m glad that Sanford is running smoothly. I wouldn’t want any more wrinkles in the process than there already are.
Blog and Sharing
On a closing note, there have been some people asking about email notifications. I think we have those set up and working now. To get an email notification when there’s a new post, you can sign up at this link. There’s also a handful of short tidbits that we randomly post on Facebook, so follow our page there as well. Some of you are also uncertain who you can talk about this with. That is not a concern. Through life and work, we know a lot of people from a lot of places. We thought it would be best to lay everything out in the open, and hopefully there would be less answering the same questions over and over on an individual basis. Share our blog posts, share our Facebook posts, invite people to like the Facebook Page, talk freely. We’re trying to put it out in front of everyone so you can stay up to date, and know how you can pray.
You are all part of our team. All of the little things people have done, are doing, and will do, make such an incredible difference. After we put some finishing touches on some things we’re working on, we’ll have a new way you can help and show you’re part of our team. We appreciate you all, and reading your comments on the blog brings us smiles.