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…
Last Friday, I had a CT scan and X-Ray for the first time since the chemotherapy started. I’m starting my third (three week) course today, so Friday was the end of my sixth week.
This morning, I met with my oncologist to discuss the results. The largest tumors I have originally started out at 5cm, which put me right on the line between stage 2 and stage 3 – and the hope was that they’d have shrunk to 3cm or below by now. As the doc told me a couple of weeks ago, if they were still 3cm or larger, we’d need to start talking about other options (i.e., more chemo and/or surgery). If they got to below 3cm, it meant I was responding well to the therapy. So, that is the metric – 3cm.
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
Chris got his port put in on Wednesday. It’s an outpatient surgery, so we were back at the familiar day-surgery wing at Northwest, with Dr. Denevan at the surgical helm. We both liked Dr. Denevan very much, as well as the anesthesiologist. We were both starving though, as they surgery was at 2:30pm, and they told Chris not to eat anything after midnight. In a show of solidarity (YOU FOOL!), I opted to not eat until he went into surgery.
Chris asked me to send an update to everyone today, and here is the latest from the Moores:
For those who didn’t know, I had to leave town very suddenly last week. My eldest brother, Ken, is very critically ill in a hospital in Oklahoma as we speak. He crashed very hard last Thursday, and they were speculating about imminent death; so I was showered, packed and on a flight within 45 minutes, not knowing if I would even be in time. I was, though it has been a very difficult few days for him. He has not stabilized by any stretch, but he is not so bad off as he was. I got to see him and talk with him a little while he was still a bit aware and able to mumble to us occasionally. After the first day I was there, he had to be intubated (not as a life-saving measure, thank goodness, but because he needed help achieving better breathing) and is not aware most of the time right now due to pain meds and anti-anxiety meds. Continue reading
Hello beloved family and friends,
I know many of you have been waiting on an update on Chris this week. Thanks so much for your mails and texts and outpouring of love and support. This week feels like a year has passed, it’s just so much at once, but your kindness and positive words have kept our spirits up.
So first, Chris is recovering well from surgery. It’s taking longer than we thought (so much of the paperwork was like “You might want to take the day off from work.” No shit? How about the rest of the week!), and he is still in a fair amount of pain; but that has mainly to do with the fact that the muscles where the incision was made are so integral to every kind of movement, and it is a 4″+ incision. So whether he is sitting, laying, or walking, it is easily strained…even laughing hurts. So he moves very slowly and nurses the pain with percocet and ice. Continue reading
Tuesday at 6am is a pretty fucked up time to have to be anyplace. But at a hospital to have surgery to remove a testicle through your groin has got to be one of the Top 10 Worst Places To Be At Any Time of Day. The procedure at least has a totally awesome name: Radical Orchiectomy. Sounds badass, right?
The Totem Pole Entrance
We didn’t sleep much the night before, and then were out of bed at 5am to shower, dress, and head in to the Day Surgery wing at Northwest Hospital (aka “The Totem Pole Entrance”). You know how dark it is at 6am around this time of year? Darker than a coal miner’s lunchpail. And it was raining. And we were tired. And grumpy. And scared. Dammit. Continue reading
Last week, my brother’s partner’s mother passed away suddenly. That was the first thing that hit, and it was significant but distant from where I was sitting–mostly just feeling empathy for Tim and my brother Ken. But two days after they flew from their home in San Fran to Oklahoma to tend to the funeral arrangements, my brother was admitted to the hospital. He has had issues in the past with pancreatitis (sp?)–I went to stay with him for a while back in 2010 when he was recovering before–and this seemed the same. His situation proved more dire however, and he was transferred to a larger hospital in Oklahoma City where his condition has worsened. Continue reading