Sunday, May 10, 2015

Chemo and Radiation Break

The weekend is time for the body to rest from Chemo and Radiation Therapy.

Tuesday will be the third Chemo treatment of Cisplatin
I was reading the side effects from this drug and really it isn't pretty considering the drug is very toxic.

One of the glaring points made for combating side effects was drinking 2 to 3 quarts of water daily.  

Fluids!  I wonder how I can convince 'my patient' to consume this amount daily.
I had to work last night until midnight.  
I hate to say that it was a small relief to be with other people and to be away from the farm for 8 hrs.

Rich called me last night to tell me that he'd eaten 3 more times in very small meals.  But he was too tired to take a can of Jevity.  He said he'd eaten enough during the day.
I can see that it will be a continuing battle for him to get proper nutrition on a daily basis.

The hardest side effect for Rich to deal with from Cisplatin is fatigue.  It is all encompassing for him.  

This raises an interesting issue to think about.
He sleeps all of the time and gets up periodically.  I understand the need to rest especially with the wicked schedule we have with driving nearly two hours just for treatments.

But as he loses weight, which he is doing, and doesn't move around, he will lose muscle tone and become much weaker than he is.

I am at a complete loss as to how to 'fix' that.  
Being a Care Giver is much harder than I thought it ever could be.

This morning a neighbor will be over to put round bales into two of our winter pastures.  It will cut down on my chores for at least a few days.

We've had a break from Radiation that feels too short to me.
The Radiation to the throat is starting to show up with its effects.  His salivary glands are not producing as much saliva.  Items like his beloved daily bagel are no longer possible.
So we have moved towards English Bagels with butter and lots of homemade jelly, along with scrambled eggs in the morning.
Today's menu while I am at work will be:
Mashed potatoes and gravy for snacks.
Yogurt fruit smoothies for any time.
Cottage Cheese, Strawberries, Juice, Eggs, Soup....
Jevity...Jevity...please please take your Jevity!

My biggest issue is getting the time between farm work and our rigorous schedule to make healthy food for him to eat.

Tomorrow the week begins again.

I will be trying to make arrangements to stay overnight in Madison at least one night a week very soon.
Once our animals are moved to summer pasture ... soon...I hope, things won't be so hectic around here.

And I am not ashamed to admit it.  10 days into treatment and I am tired.  We have 5 weeks left.

Rich is doing better today, he went outside this morning when a neighbor came over to help me!
He ate two helpings of breakfast, eggs and English Muffins.
Keep your thumbs and fingers crossed today.


  1. That update is such good news. Maybe the answer to getting him moving is having neighbors "drop in" daily? And you know, I've never tasted Jevity but I've given enough of it to different people over the years to know it smells funky, and I don't imagine it "tastes" any better! I get that he needs it, though. Prayers, as always!

  2. Nick did the same. Lost SO much muscle tone.