Chemo pushed back, all is well

Hello friends,

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.
His partner and my sister have been complete rock stars coordinating his care and carrying the heavy burden of decision-making for someone who isn’t in a position to make decisions for themselves. And my mother and his half-brother (who I call my “not brother”, Tom) from Texas has also been completely kick-ass in supporting everyone, staying by his bedside, running for coffee, arranging hotel stays for visitors…you name it. So much love and effort has been surrounding Ken these past few weeks, and the struggle continues. Please keep Ken and my family in your prayers.

All this to say that we were already on a tight timeline to try and get everything done we felt needed to be squared away before chemo started, and that took an additional 4 days out of the mix. One of the important things we wanted to do was to bank some sperm, as the chances of chemo making Chris infertile is about 50/50. We are still as on-the-fence about children as we ever were, but we don’t want the decision made for us. Perhaps when we get through all this, we will feel more strongly about having children than we do–who knows! This keeps that an option for us. So we have set that up for this week, which we are grateful to be able to do.

The other reason to delay is to have a port put in. For those who aren’t familiar with it, a port is kind of like a permanent IV line which is surgically placed in a patient’s upper chest, allowing nearly direct access to the heart for the purposes of quickly and easily delivering drugs or medicines to the blood stream. Without it, Chris would need to get poked with needles every single day for 5-6 days straight during his “on” weeks, where at least every other day they would need to find a new vein to do it in. OUCH! Additionally, for at least a year following his chemo treatments, he will need to get regular CT scans and testing, which they can continue to use the port for. The further bonus to a port is there is no “leakage” of the chemo drugs, which is a potentiality in regular IV’s, which can damage the area around the IV and decrease the effectiveness of the infusion session. So though it makes one squeamish to imagine having a “hole” in your body for at least an entire year, we believe it is the best course of action. He should be getting that done later in the week.

I gotta tell ya’ friends, scheduling for cancer-related office visits, testing, medications, and treatments is a real mind bender. For the first three weeks of his chemo, we have 15 appointments lined up! Some will be back-to-back at the same facility, which is a relief. I can say from experience now, though, that I very much like PSCC. I wasn’t here last week for Chris’ initial appointment at the new oncologist, so didn’t get a sense of where we would be spending many hours in the coming months. But after today I feel more confident we made the right choice to move to NW Hospital to be near our home. And so long as there is space in the room for me (some days are busier than others), they encourage loved ones to stay with patients while they are receiving their infusions. That time in the chair, plus the expected fatigue and side-effects, means Chris and I will get a lot of “just hanging out” time together in the coming months. Any movie or music recommendations are welcome. 😉 And as with his surgery recovery time, if you would like to arrange to visit, get in touch with us.

So that’s the update. It was hard after all the emotional build-up to take a running leap into chemo only to walk out a couple hours later not having begun, but our week will still be very full running around going to doctors/lab appointments, and trying to get things better settled for the long haul. We continue to be so grateful for your warm, loving energy coming from all around the world. And I want to say this as well–we may have a lot of heavy stuff on our plate right now, but please don’t feel that you can’t still talk to us, share with us, and lean on us as your loving friends as you always have. Sometimes being able to reach out to love and care for someone else is just the way to lift your own spirits. So no tip-toeing around us, okay? Let us love you right back.

Much love,
Shay

Below is our new mascot, which was crocheted with love by our not-sister-in-law Lisa (Tom’s wife). She makes a habit out of crocheting angry body parts and sending them to friends who are sick or injured. Ken has an angry gall bladder from his last hospital visit, for instance. This is Chris’ angry testicle. She even made sure she knew what his hair color was to get that part right. The best part? It has a tiny bell in it. It jingles.