19 December 2007

Treatment

The radiation therapy started Monday, 15 minutes a day until it is done, estimated at 7 weeks. The chemo will start after the new year.

So many new things you learn when you are involved in the battle against cancer, many of which I hope you will never have to learn.

The chemo therapy is tailored to each individual patient, so there is a...shall we say, collection process...that has to occur. Suffice it to say if you are ever in the house with someone that has been recently diagnosed, don't drink out of the orange jug in the refrigerator.

My younger sister had a patient (both my sisters are RN's) that drank Propel sports water during her chemo and was able to keep her hair. We stocked up on it today, we will see how it works when she starts her chemo. I hope it works.

She wants to travel south for Christmas and I am worried that she will not tolerate the trip well. We will be taking our 2 grandsons back home, ages 2 and 4, as well as our youngest, age 8. We decided that she will fly down and I will drive at night while the kids sleep and she can ride back with just me and Chris on the return trip. Less stress, and she can lie down in the backseat on the way back if she wants.

The chemo will start when we get back, she will have a "port" put in, which as near as I can tell is a semi-permanently attached IV line. This will remain until the end of the treatments.

The docs hope that the masses can be cut down to a manageable size in 7 weeks, at which time they will be able to go in and "section" the lung to remove the bad parts. Her type of cancer generally responds well to the treatment regimen that is planned, and they are confident that within a couple of months she will be back to normal...or at least back to what passes for normal for her.

They are also pretty confident that the radiation will knock back the tumors enough to relieve some of the pain by the time we head south next week.

I was mulling all of this over in my mind as we drove back from the treatments today. She told me I looked worried.

I'm going to have to work harder on that.

4 comments:

El Capitan said...

Cancer's a hell of a thing. Some people respond well to treatment. My best friend of 25 years made it through 2 long rounds of chemo & major surgery to take out abdominal tumors. So far, he's clear of any recurring signs of it coming back. That was 2 years past.

OTOH, my grandmother was diagnosed with the tiniest little tumors, barely visible on the Xray. She started treatment and was dead within 12 weeks. You can just never tell.

A positive mental attitude and a desire to beat the disease is crucial. I was a skeptic about my friend's insistence on wearing the Lance Armstrong "Live Strong" yellow bracelet, but it gave him something to cling to when things looked bleak. Apparently it worked...

I wish you and your wife well. This is a fight that you can win!

Larry said...

Thanks for dropping by Cap'n, and for the encouraging word. She's bound and determined that she will be around for a long time. She says she's already feeling better, less pain and easier to breathe.

Hammer said...

I wish your family all the best during this difficult time.

Larry said...

Thanks Hammer, that means a lot. Please remember Mr Fixit as well.