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.
Chris has had his weekly Bleomyicin appointments the past two weeks, which is gratefully only once a week. The pic to the right is of our friendly seat-mate this past week. She was so nice, and had great taste in hats! The Bleo treatments do increase his nausea quite a bit. But the awesome news is that we got him on a different at-home anti-nausea medication. He still gets his dexamethasone in his IV with his treatments, which helps for a few days; but after that you need those pills to work reliably for you every few hours, and if it has other difficult side effects it can make for a rough week. For weeks he was taking prochlorperazine, which is a “dopamine antagonist“. The side effects were making him really really wiggy–tremors, inability to focus, and tired all the time–as if he doesn’t get enough of all that from the chemo drugs themselves! He was falling asleep in his chair, and couldn’t do any work for the first couple weeks of treatment.
He has now switched to Zofran (generic name ondansetron), which is a “seratonin antagonist“, and the only side effects noted most of the time is headaches, which he can manage with pain meds. Much better. Once he made the switch, he was excitedly getting back to work and had some of his most productive days in nearly a month. It was awesome to see him with better energy and an enthusiasm for gittin’er dun. As he put it when talking to our neighbors the other day, the switch did SO MUCH for not just his physical state, but was a fantastic boost to his mental state and overall attitude.
In other upbeat news, a fellow dancer in the Seattle community, Kristi, pinged me a couple weeks ago telling me she had a gift for Chris and offered to drop it by our house. She works so close by, at Top Ten Toys (awesome toy shop in Greenwood!) so I offered to come by and pick it up myself. What greeted me there was not only a sweet welcome and a sympathetic ear from someone who has been affected by cancer in her own life more than once, but this little cephalopod on the left!!
Isn’t he adorable? She made him with her own two hands. There was a cute note from him to Chris that went with it, offering his companionship and asking only a bit of pocket space now and then. Chris immediately put him on his desk alongside his other new companions. Thanks, Kristi!
We spent some time in the garden last week. The weather wasn’t too nice, but it wasn’t raining all day and that was enough for us to try and tackle some projects, including one I had on a whim. Inspired by a web page I found which had tons of inspiration on upcycling old shipping pallets, I cobbled together some tutorials and my own imagination to create some vertical gardens using pallets we had saved from our sod delivery last summer. You can see my full tutorial with pictures here at my personal blog (not very active, but I post stuff now and again, including my favorite recipes, if you’re into that!). Now we have a place where our snap peas are happily growing, plus room for strawberry plants, herbs, spinach, and some sweet allyssum for color. I will be finishing planting them this weekend, as the weatherman says sun all day Sunday *fingers crossed*.
Chris’ neulasta shot really kicked him in the butt last week! This is a drug which increases white blood cell counts by boosting his bone marrow production. So bone marrow…that’s the “delicious creamy filling” down the middle of all our bones (ew, not really, but it is in the center of our bones). The main sources of production for bone marrow in adults is in our pelvis and our sternum. They said he would likely feel “some aching” in those regions in the week following the shot. He had nothing for almost an entire week, so we thought maybe he had skipped the side effect. Ugh, nope. It just waited like an evil lion in the shrubs, ready to POUNCE! What started as a general ache in the exact regions anticipated, turned into 48-hours of suckitude where he couldn’t sit still for more than a minute before the pain would build up and he had to move. Imagine feeling the need to fidget, fidget, fidget constantly and never find a way to get comfortable. He couldn’t get to sleep, and went through three different pain medications before finding that oxycodone could nip it in the bud. But it meant he went without sleep from Friday morning until Saturday night when he finally collapsed from sheer exhaustion. Whee!
The kinda bummer news this week was that, right on schedule, Chris’ hair began to fall out. They said two to three weeks into treatment, and they were spot on. On Tuesday afternoon he ran his fingers through his hair and came up with quite a handful of curly locks. “Oh. Shit.” I believe were his exact sentiments. Again and again he gently ran his hands through, and tufts and clumps pulled free like the picture to the left. “This is not a false alarm,” he said with a nervous laugh, eyes wide with something resembling shock. Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter how prepared you THINK you are to lose your hair. When it starts happening, your body goes into “Oh shit, this is NOT RIGHT” mode, like a mini panic attack.
We’re a bit further along now, but I feel that the continuing saga of the hair loss deserves its own post. And maybe we will even convince Chris to pop out of his hidey-hole to share some of his thoughts on it all. So stay tuned for the further tales of these here adventures!