Last week blues…

Shay here!

It is interesting the routines we get into. How easily we slip into them, and how strange it feels to bid them adieu. I have been musing about what it means for this to be Chris’ last week of chemo. It is of course fantastic news, but there is a bittersweetness to it as well. It means we won’t be here at the clinic any more, seeing these sweet caretakers. It means Chris will return to work at the office before too long, no longer always at home when I want to see his face or eat lunch together (ya know, when he has am appetite for lunch at all ;). It means returning to a new normalcy on the other side of CANCERZOMG and wondering if it will be the same or not. I don’t feel all that different just now, personally, but I know Chris surely does; and we haven’t had the time to talk about that fact too much, since his energy is so low most days that a deep talk about Feelings and Life isn’t a priority. I can fully understand how people facing more dire prognoses with their cancer need counseling to be able to find space to express just how much things change in your mind and body during treatment.

And then I feel kind of guilty for thinking I will miss any part of this. I mean, I haven’t been the one suffering in the way Chris has, and to cling to an part of this feels like I am diminishing what a shitty time it has been for him. Then again, maybe when we do talk more about this later on, I will better understand his experience and headspace, and perhaps he, too, will miss parts of this experience. But let’s just get past these final few treatments. Then we’ll talk…

CT Scan and Preliminary Results

Yesterday we went in to get Chris his CT scan and chest Xray.  It was specifically scheduled at this time–at the end of the 2nd round and just prior to the beginning of the 3rd round–to determine if the therapies are working.  They compare the first CT’s with the new CT’s and see if the tumors are shrinking as they expect. If they are not, then they look into several options, the most common including a 4th round of chemo, radiation, or surgery.
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A remarkably similar story…

So today I have been doing some research on what to expect for Chris in the third round of chemo and beyond. We have been talking in the abstract about our summer plans “after chemo”, uncertain how long it will take for him to feel like he is on the mend. So I figured seeing what other people may have written about their personal experiences would reveal.

In that search, I found this blog:

In it, blogger Austin Elling gives a concise rundown of each stage of his testicular cancer journey, from diagnosis, through surgery, sperm banking, and each of the three rounds of chemo.  It’s a pretty easy read without too much detail, but enough to get the story across. Sounds like his symptoms in general surround chemo were more intense than Chris’ have been, but it is striking how his story and his wife’s perspective (also shared in the blog) unfolded so similarly to ours. Check it out if you’re interested!

Nurses amaze me…

We were in the office today for Chris’ labs, weekly doctor followup, and Bleo treatment.  It’s a “short day” by all standards, only taking about 90 minutes in the chair, maybe 30 minutes for the labs and doctor’s chat.  Wednesdays are ridiculously busy every week we have been there, with every chair full. So luckily sitting in the hard back guest seats isn’t so bad on short days.

We had a bit of a wait in the lobby before being admitted, however, which means I got some quality PUZZLE TIME!  There is a puzzle table which resides smack in the middle of the waiting room, where you can pass the time before visits, or even during if you want.  I enjoy puzzles very much, always have, but it is an extra treat when sweet little old ladies who are in for their treatments sit down next to me and we chat about this and that as we work. Continue reading

A Life on Hold

Shay here with a little mind-dump.

It’s funny how some events in your life can really fill your field of vision, where everything else becomes hazy and easy to forget, while the One Thing takes center stage. You allow yourself to drop the ball–you can see yourself doing it, but it’s like a slow motion scene where you watch it drop and you don’t even try to reach out and prevent it from happening.You just kind of furrow your brow at it at it and let it go.

That’s kind of how the days have been passing in the last two months since we learned Chris’ diagnosis: not slowly, but…groggily? and without much of my own motivation moving things forward. Continue reading

Lots to catch up on!

It’s been a little while since we posted anything. Not because nothing has been happening, but because a lot has been happening and it’s been hard to find time and motivation to post. But we have been thinking about all our friends and family reading this blog and wanted to post some pics and talk a bit about what all has been going on in Casa del Moore.

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Kenneth Thomas, Jr. 2/20/62 – 4/26/2012

Ken at Disney World for his 50th Birthday

For those who have been asking, I can now report that my big brother Ken passed away yesterday. This week they knew it wouldn’t be long before they had to make a call on removing the various assistive machines he was on. My sister was at his bedside asking him for a sign about what to do, and within an hour the ventilator indicated he stopped breathing on his own.

They removed all the equipment, passed around a bootleg Kahlua and put some in his mouth, and said a prayer around him. He passed “tasting rainbows”, as my sister put it, as they put him on the highest level of morphine possible without stopping his heart; so he was feeling no pain as he passed from this life. Thanks to all who have been going through this part of the journey with me. I am glad he is at peace.

How To Care For a Friend or Family Member With Cancer

This week is an “off week” for Chris–that means only one infusion this week, rather than 5 or 6. So here is a little wisdom I read about how to care for a loved one with cancer that I thought was well considered.

Giving Support When A Loved One Has Cancer

by Lisa Fayed

Giving emotional support to a loved one with cancer is not easy. There is just nothing simple about it. Of, course you want to be there for your loved one, but at the same time, it hurts. Keep in mind that your strength will make them even stronger.

Just how do you give support and how do you give it without breaking down?

Listen With You Heart, and Not Your Ears

When your loved one talks about their cancer, listen. Really listen. Sometimes, it is not what you say, it is what you do. Listening is one of the best ways to show you care. If your loved one wants to rant and rave about how unfair life is or whatever is on his or her mind, let it be. We need to have emotional outbursts every once in a while to vent our feelings. Knowing they have a shoulder to cry on is such a comfort. Continue reading

Chemo Day 5 Update – more excellent care!

Back again on a relatively slow Friday morning. Getting up early is not my favorite, but I got used to it as the week wore on. Sitting with Chris, chilling out, kicking cancer’s ass…you know, the usual.

Friends have been some coming over this week and keeping Chris company while his energy is low, and freeing me up to go teach and run errands without my worrying mind being half at home. Thanks and love to James for coming to a boys night at our house this week, and to Heidi hanging out with Chris Monday and last night, as well as feeding us delicious pizza last night!
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Happy 4/20!

With Chris’ “green card”, he can legally “celebrate”. But really, shouldn’t EVERY day be a celebration?