My Cancer Journey: Part 7: Thankful
Day 38 continues…
My meeting with my oncologist, Dr. Le, went well, in fact it was a little anticlimactic. She is happy with how I am handling the Chemo, and there is no reason to postpone treatment. That was about the gist of the meeting.
Charlie brought us a spaghetti dinner, ( Thanks Renee!) with fresh veggies and pudding. Spaghetti always goes over well with the kids. Although Noah decided to throw is bowl of pudding on the freshly cleaned carpet…
Day 39 – Saturday
Today I was feeling good. Probably the best day so far. A good day for a date night.
Our first stop on the date was the hairdresser to get my had shaved, since it was becoming quite patchy.
Afterwards, we had a nice dinner at Milestones. Teresa is dong a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer society, called Sober October. Our server, Matt, even donated $20 to the cause. I was really touched by that.
Today was the first day I made it to both services at church, since having surgery. I even wore my suit today. We hung around for quite while chatting with lots of people after both services. We even got some homemade cookies from Linda and some home-baked muffins from Coby.
Because tomorrow I begin the heavy week, I preemptively started taking Zantac this evening. I do not want to experience that acid reflux again!
Monday. I felt pretty good today when I awoke. I ate breakfast and then walked the kids to the bus. Molly Maid arrived at 9am to clean the house. Having the house cleaned like this has been such a blessing for us.
Today is the start of round 2…and the second of three heavy weeks. I think I am prepared this time. Today I receive all 3 drugs: BEP plus the pre and post hydration and hyrdrocortisone. So it was a 5 hour marathon of sitting in a chair. Not fun, but with Pastor Ben’s Kindle full of books… it goes by fairly smoothly.
Today Renee took time from her schedule and drove me to and from treatment.
Monica made us some spaghetti and that was cheerfully consumed by the entire family.
Day 42 WBC count and Potty Talk
Today started as per usual, walk kids to bus, have breakfast, kiss Teresa goodbye for the day… But then I couldn’t go. I had t but couldn’t. I knew I forgot to take something. The laxatives! It’s amazing how fast these drugs work to mess with your bowels.
Naomi drove me to and from treatment and even brought me a piece of delicious apple infused baking to enjoy at while at treatment, and then picked me up a Jr. Chicken from McDonald’s on the way home (although I am sure that did not help my bowel situation – it still tasted good!)
While at treatment I learned that my White Blood Cell count (particularly my neutrophil count) was very low… it was at 0.6! The nurses were concerned, because at this level my body cannot fight off infection very well. Also, if it falls below 0.5 the bacteria present in my mouth and stomach can make me sick. So I had to take extra contact precautions – no sick people at home, extra hand washing etc.
Charlie brought us a cream sauce chicken, rice, jello, and veggies for dinner (thanks Rene). This meal was a hit with all of us.
Today I had some mild tinnitus in my left ear, which lasted about a minute, and I was a little tired…on top of the constipation.
I was pretty tired this morning. I barely got up in time to walk the kids to the bus. My appetite is not great today, probably from the boating. But other than that, I feel pretty good. Kevin came over for a visit, we had a great chat and we also had an epic rematch of NHL16, and he won both games. Now were tied 2-2. He must have been practicing…Afterwards, Kevin drove me to the Cancer Clinic where I received my treatment.
My Bother in law Brad came down from Chilliwack to visit while I was in the chair. It was good to catch up with him. He also drove me home, and, well Brad being Brad, had to find something to help us with, so I showed him the toilet in the en-suite, which runs constantly. I had purchased a fill valve and a flapper but didn’t have the energy to fix it, so he did it! While napped…I really appreciated that.
Tired. Bleh. I am so glad didn’t have to get up with the girls. No school today! Since it’s a Professional Development day for the girls, Maggie cam over with her kids to watch ours. Maggie even folded the laundry and did the dishes! Thanks Maggie!
Allan drove me to and from treatment today and I learned that our brother George Wendt was also at SMH in the critical care ward. Allan was off to visit him, while I went to chemo.
My nurses were concerned about my constipation and made all sots of recommendations – prunes, figs, dates, and even coffee. They also recommended that I increase my laxatives and stool softeners. So I did…and Teresa brought home the figs, dates, and prunes…
While at treatment Pastor Ben came by for a visit. I was pleased to inform that when he arrived I was officially halfway finished my chemo treatments! YES!
After getting home I spent most o the afternoon dozing off while trying to watch the Bluejays game – I slept through most of it and totally missed Bautista’s Home Run! 10-1 Go Jays!
Brenda brought lasagna and garlic bread for dinner. It was a hit with the family, and I even ate the cheesy noodley goodness, despite my ongoing bowel concerns…but I had some fruit on the side so it’s all good!
After dinner I was out for the count. One more day… one more day…
Friday. Another Pro D day. Teresa wasn’t feeling well so she stayed home, which worked out for the girls and for me since she could drive. It also worked out cuz she made me breakfast in bed!
I had to go for blood work before my treatment today, to ensure my neutrophil counts had not fallen any further. I also managed to have a bowel movement today between blood work and my treatment. If you can call it that…tiny marbles…either way the nurses were very happy about it. I felt like a toddler who finally went on the potty 🙂
The nurses were also very happy to inform me that my body had recovered on its own, and my neutrophil counts had soared to 3.6! Certainly not at the level of a healthy person, but recovered enough that I still have some infection fighting defenses in me and don’t need a shot.
For dinner, Cynthia brought us a fajita casserole, which I really enjoyed! While eating, I also realized that my taste buds are still working…they were not by this point during my last treatment. Something to give thanks for, that I could taste this Mexican deliciousness.
Shortly after dinner the meds starting kicking in hard, and I had a little bit of nausea. I went to bed and slept for 13 hours.
Day 46 Give Thanks
Saturday. I awoke feeling a bit bleh, so I skipped prayer group and opted to remain in bed. Right now I am typing this post. It is about 11am, Teresa took Meagan to gymnastics and the house is quiet. I am sipping apple juice and eating a dried fig…
It is thanksgiving weekend. I am looking forward to sending it with family. I have so much to be grateful for, it is hard to even list it all. So I will pick a few:
- I am grateful for family. My wife, Teresa. She has been a rock for me. My kids who have been a blessing to me.
- I am grateful for my extended family. You have rallied around us in this our time of need. We have been more than blessed by the outpouring of love and support from all of you. And for that we are grateful.
- I am grateful for our church family at Maranatha. The council, the members. Your constant prayers, support, calls, emails, visits, meals, baking…I believe that the Love of Christ is very present with us.
- I am grateful for my pastor and ward elder. Pastor Ben and Phil, you have both provided me with support, biblical counsel, and friendship beyond what I ever expected. You live the Word in a down to earth way and have touched me beyond words. Thank you. (BTW – it is Pastor appreciation day tomorrow on Sunday October 9th don’t forget your pastors and elders!)
- I am grateful for my extended church family around the world who have also sent many emails, messages and prayers of support!
- I am grateful for living in Canada by God’s providence, for living in a country where we have access to some of the best medical treatment in the world.
- I am grateful for the love and mercy and grace of the Lord on a sinner like me. That he should look upon me in my brokenness and sin and want to reconcile with me, by sending his son to die on a cross…for me? Amazing love.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!