Dog Tired

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It has been quiet around our house this week.  Dave came home from Hopkins on Monday, crawled into bed, and has emerged only occasionally to eat or watch a little TV.    To say he has been tired would be a huge understatement.  We had been warned that his red blood count was low this time around so fatigue would definitely be an issue.  Yesterday he decided that he needed to get out of the house and went to the Y to sit in the sauna for a little while.  I could tell that he was feeling a tiny bit better today when he  texted me to see where I was – he was awake long enough to realize that I had been out for a while.

Another side effect that has troubled him is nausea.  Sensitivity to smells is a sign of nausea and probably has been the bigger issue.  We have done very little cooking since he can’t tolerate the various aromas.  I have had to stretch my imagination to come up with meals.  Luckily Grammy and PopPop brought dinner over on Wednesday so I got a break!

The last issue that Dave has been dealing with is the one that has gotten him out of bed.  He continues to have significant pain in his right side.  It started after his Sirspheres treatment in August.  The interventional radiologist said it would eventually subside.  But this treatment seems to cause it to flare up.  Nothing notable has been seen on his scans.  The doctors are throwing narcotics at the problem.  While I have absolutely no problem with Dave taking what he needs to be comfortable, I think it is time to figure out the underlying cause.  He will have another scan on the 17th and if nothing shows up, I think it is time to look into another type of scan or test.

We will be spending this weekend enjoying the winter Olympics and relaxing.

xoxo,

Robyn

If You Need Me, I’ll Be at the Grocery Store

ImageGrocery shopping has become an unexpected challenge lately.  Dave has chemo this week so I try to make sure we have some basics that he can stomach like sprite and cottage cheese.  For the last couple of treatments, he has all but lost his appetite which lasts about four days.  He gets fluids at the treatment center on day 3 and nibbles on enough to get by.  It is hardly ideal but he is managing it okay.  He craves proteins but doesn’t want any sauces and can’t tolerate the smell of anything cooking.  You begin to see the challenge.  Also, I still have to feed the kids.  So, I end up going to the grocery store daily and wandering the aisles looking for uncooked, sauceless protein that has no smell and appeals to kids.  We’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches…..

xoxo

Robyn

PS During a lighthearted moment, I did remind Dave that during one of my pregnancies, when I was knee deep in morning sickness, that he heated up and ate an anchovy pizza in my presence!  

Bearing Witness

ImageDave typically does chemo on Wednesdays.  He spends most of his day in the infusion lab and then leaves with his pack which he wears for 48 hours.  When he gets home from the lab, he generally eats something and heads to bed.  Thursdays he sleeps in a bit and then heads off to work in the late morning or early afternoon.  At least this is what I assumed since I work on Thursdays and am not home.  This week, because of Thanksgiving, he had his infusion on Monday and gets disconnected today.  I don’t work on Tuesdays so I was home on his middle day.  He was down for the count.  He slept in, got up and ate something, read the paper and then went back to bed.  He slept the entire day.  When he did finally rally for a birthday dinner celebration with his family, he was still exhausted and feeling very ill.  I had no idea.  None.  Seeing his family did give him a burst of energy, and I think that for that few hours, he felt a little better.  When we got home, he went straight back to bed.  Yesterday was a very eye opening day.

xoxo

Robyn

Toxic

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On Friday, I went with my friend, May https://embracingtherollercoaster.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/cancer-for-dummies-3 to Village Green Apothecary http://www.myvillagegreen.com.  It is a shop in Bethesda that has lots and lots of vitamins, organic products and holistic remedies.  May is a wealth of knowledge herself, and she showed me the go-to guy in the shop to ask for help.  I picked up a sampling of things for Dave to try as well as a few things for the kids and me.  

I can’t help but think that it might be a good idea to try some natural products when dealing with side effects like fatigue, nausea, neuropathy, rashes etc.  Dave gets so many toxins pumped into his system every other week during chemo.  He takes 3-4 medicines daily for his diabetes.  Then he has 7-8 prescriptions to take before, during or after chemo to prevent or help with side effects.  And of course there are the recommended over the counter remedies.  Dave’s body is a toxic battleground.  I have no problem with the wisdom of modern medicine, but we are both open to other methods and schools of thought too.

xoxo

Robyn

 

A Never Ending Cycle

I know I have said it before but it bears repeating – side effects suck.   Today I touched base with two women who are currently undergoing chemo.  Both are suffering from the debilitating side effects.  I can’t even begin to imagine how tough it is.

Dave also had chemo this week.  Round #23.  He is exhausted and his stomach is in knots.   He has random bruises and rashes.   The most troubling side effect for him recently is “chemo brain”.  He is forgetting things.  Names of people.  Where he left something.  He misplaced his brand new jacket from LL Bean.   He bought it for himself recently, pleased with how perfectly it fit.  It’s not at home.  It’s not in his car or at work.  So, he probably left it in a restaurant or at a game.  He beat himself up over its loss.  And then in his distress he even turned on me.  His frustration with his memory issues was so great that in his irrational state he thought I might be hiding his things from him on purpose.  It is a vicious circle in which to live.  The chemo keeps the tumors under control.  The chemo causes barely bearable side effects.  Thank goodness for off weeks.

I think I have convinced him to take it easy this weekend.  That it is not a sign of weakness to lay low or veg out in front of the TV.  That being fatigued does not help with memory.  So, here’s to a weekend of hanging around the house, watching movies, playing games and napping.  (Fingers crossed.)

xoxo

Robyn

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