Tuesday, October 02, 2007

update #2

Wow things have been really busy around here. On Thursday, John and I spent the entire day at the hospital for his final tests before beginning chemo. He also had a blood transfusion, which ate up about 5 1/2 hrs. He was looking and feeling much better after that. I wonder if he's bionic now. hee hee. On Friday, he started his first day of chemo. We arrived early in the morning for him to have an echocardiogram, and then he had to have an IV of an antibody. That was about 5 hours. Then they gave him his little pump of the chemo and a fanny pack to carry it around. Oh how the fanny pack brings so much humor into the situation. So for 5 days (today being day 5), he's had to carry around the fanny pack of hazardous chemicals being pumped into his body, and return to the hospital every 24 hours to have the bag changed. Meanwhile, our house has been invaded by John's family. His mom and sister have been organizing our house like mad women. It's been helpful and stressful, but mostly helpful. It is really difficult having people come into your house and work like that! John's father and brother also finished putting up insulation and plywood in the attic, so we now have a lot of storage up there. whooohoo!

On top of all this, our washing machine decided to break again. I spent 3.5 hrs last Wednesday at the laundry mat, something I never want to do again! John's parents thought it was ridiculous, and bought us a new washer and dryer! I could hardly believe it, but now we have new whirlpool appliances that will last us a good 10 yrs (hopefully).

Today is the end of his first chemo cycle. He'll received the last drug, which is a drug that can be harmful to the bladder. It'll be a long day, because in trying to prevent damage to the bladder, they give IV fluids before and after the drug is administered. I tell you, this is a very interesting process. After today, he will have his PICC line pulled, and then he will be receiving injections of a bone marrow stimulant. Plus, he'll have his blood drawn twice a week for the next 16 days. I'm just glad to put this first cycle behind us. Miraculously, John's symptoms have begun to subside, and I'm happy to say John's acting more like his old self. The drug he is receiving today may make him sick, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. I just hope that it doesn't happen as I'm driving him home in D.C. rush hour traffic!!

I've received some great mail the past few days. Nothing like mail to lift your spirits! Lots of great fabric from some very nice people. I'll be back tomorrow to show it off!

14 comments:

kirsten said...

wow, that is really interesting/crazy. glad the first cycle's done! maybe he'll have super powers now - did you ask him if his spidey sense was tingling? :)

Maureen said...

Hi,
I'm sending prayers and all my best wishes to you and your husband. I am a survivor of Hodgkins--15 chemos and a lot of bone marrow stimuating shots! I know you can do this---what ever it takes!

Maureen

lera said...

I have never heard of the fanny-pack-full-of-chemo thing before. That is very interesting.

Sorry about your washer, but woo-hoo for the new one.

Anina said...

Isn't it great to have family around to help? Good luck with everything that is to come, and keep us posted.

LisaAlso said...

I'm just a lurker here, but want to send my best wishes for you and your family throughout this process. Two years ago, my 20 year old daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Absolutely NOT the same thing as you are going, but scary at the time.

Two surgeries, radioactive iodine, and now yearly scans, and I think we are getting near the finish line.

Each step was a learning experience, nerves, relief, you name it.

I don't know...I just wanted to say that I am thinking of you and your husband...all the family.

Mary said...

Glad to hear the troops are rallying around y'all!

Christy said...

You sound so upbeat Katie! I'm glad things are going reasonable well and that John is feeling better.

Yippee for the in-laws gifting you with a new washer and dryer!! With all that's going on, you shouldn't have to worry about how you're going to do the laundry.

janealt said...

Hey - I feel your pain. I went through the whole cancer thing about 5 years ago - breast cancer with 10 chemo treatments 2 weeks apart. I'm fine now, thank god, and I would be happy to help manage the side effects of the chemo if it makes him very sick. People passed on tricks to me which worked, and I'd be happy to share. Also, once your family goes home, I can be there to help too. No, I'm not a strange stalker but a member of the cancer club who knows what it's like. I read your blog, and I think I live nearby - NIH is about 3 miles away. If you need someone to craft with, to keep you company, to have a coffee or a glass of wine with, someone to help you find a comfortable hat for your hubby, please call. Jane Altshuler
janealt@comcast.net cloudsmeow.blogspot.net

Lesley said...

Well done for posting after such an intense few days. That's one heck of a treatment plan your husband has there - very glad to hear he has responded well so far.
Not easy having other folk in your knicker drawer is it? (my M-I-L has been in mine toooo many times - heck, she's even ironed them!). It's hard for everyone as they want to help and support but you may find you just want some breathing space. Keep strong and I look forward to seeing your fabric xxx

Katie said...

I'm a lurker too. Just want to send my best wishes along!

Holly said...

Can I just say how impressed I am that you are maintaining such a positive attitude? It's really wonderful. I admire the way that you seem to be facing this cancer head on, doing what needs to be done. I know that I don't know you, and I don't mean to be presumptuous...I just really admire your spirit. My prayers are still with you.

iSew said...

What a whirlwind of changes, but it must be great to have so much support.

Chara Michele said...

I am impressed at how upbeat you seem! Although if you feel like you need to complain or anything, I know we will all be here to listen:)
Bummer about the old washing machine, but very cool that they bought you a new one!

African Kelli said...

Keeping you in my thoughts Katie Jean!