Friday, May 29, 2015

Chemo and Rad, counting the days


Well we were waiting for the lab department to take his blood for anylisis before chemo on Tuesday.  I held the camera at waist level and snapped this, his number was 100.

Today was a good one.  I met him at the infusion clinic with Nurse Jackie.  The mental health 'team' had made sure to 'medicate' him properly so that he wouldn't have an anxiety attack.

This was a good plan.  
Not only that, he was released into my care for the weekend with a heavy schedule for next week.

Thank goodness for electronic calendars, I can enter appointments in them and then can change them as they change for us.  I can make it so his daughter can see the very same appointments.

As of today, Rich only has 10 Radiation treatments left!

Dustin, the RAD tech calls Rich ~ "Hollywood" ~ probably because of the bright colored western shirts he loves to wear and his very cool sunglasses that he even wears indoors.

As of today, I think he has only two chemo treatments left also.

I'm not saying we are out of the woods yet but I can say this, we ARE counting the days left, the treatments left, and looking forward to recovery.

Eating food is difficult for Rich, but he is persevering.  We stopped on the way home from the VA and he ate a large Ham and Cheese omelette along with a large portion of hash browns.  While he was a patient, the nurses kept him supplied with ice cream bars, snacks, puddings, and as many items they felt he could eat.

Throat Cancer Treatment, as told by Dr. R., is one of the most toughest regimes of cancer treatment to go through.  The patient has to face a daunting regime of up to 33 radiation treatments to the throat, along with 6 to 7 chemotherapy treatments.
Nasty side effects are things like destruction of the saliva glands, which may or may not come back.
Foods may never taste the same.
Some people lose their ability to swallow food and have to be feed through a PEG tube while taking physical therapy to try and get back their swallowing muscles.
The skin on the neck becomes tender and hot.  As I've heard folks describe it on Cancer discussion boards, your throat 'cooks' for weeks after radiation stops.

There is weakness and extreme fatigue.  There is an emotional roller-coaster ride for both the patient and those around him.

But the results are often very encouraging.  

We keep looking for the positive outcome.

So today we rejoice because Rich is home for the weekend and so far he has been sleeping comfortably on the futon his daughter and her husband brought today.
We re-arranged the tiny living room so he would not have to negotiate stairs at night to use the bathroom.

Tonight we end on a good note.
All is quiet.

One more day.


  1. I remember my dad going through radiation he had lymphoma his neck looked like the worst sunburn I had ever seen. He complained about how food tasted for a long time. I like the picture, he still has his hair. hang in there friend. hugs to you and hubby.

  2. Well...that shirt looks familiar!!