Chemo day 2, volume turned to 11.5 !

Hey all!  I guess this is my inaugural post here at the blog.  Really, this is my first blog of any substance – so bear with me if I’m a bit clunky at first.

Today’s chemo went quite a bit faster than yesterday, even with the introduction of my third drug (Bleomycin), which took an extra half hour.  When they started me out yesterday, it was at a rate of around 500ml/hour.  Throughout the day as I was able to handle the dosages, they moved me up to 600ml, then 800ml/hour.  After I woke up from a nap in the afternoon, I noticed it’d been moved to 1000ml/hour, and the pump was noisier (and angrier) than it’d been all day.

Today, they moved me to a two pump system, and had one dedicated to saline, while the other was dedicated to the revolving tray of drugs.  The saline was running almost all day at a constant 550ml/hour, and the drugs were switched in and out running at 600ml/hour.

Combined volume:  1150ml/hour

Before starting me on the actual chemo drugs, they also give me a couple anti-nausea drugs and a steroid – each of which comes in a bag of fluid that’s between ~200ml and ~500ml.  The chemo drugs Cisplatinum (yes, made with real platinum!  heavy metals administered directly to the heart is the straight dope!) and Etoposide (aka “VP-16“, which sounds like a Nazi mind control drug or something) are in 500ml bags except the Bleo, which is 200ml (quick!).

Anyway, the whole process has been interesting (from a scientific “I’m learning new things” point of view), terrifying (from a “2 years ago my mom was also just starting chemo, and didn’t make it” point of view), and also reassuring (from a “will you just look how many damn people care about me!” point of view).  So far, it hasn’t been terribly bad physically – though I’m still pretty sure that’s going to get worse.  Yesterday evening, I had some mild nausea, but didn’t vomit or anything – just feeling really off, and in a completely unfamiliar way.  It didn’t start until after 6:30 yesterday, but I think I’m already starting to feel it today.  I’ve also had a low grade headache since yesterday.  Really, I had one all weekend from the anxiety, but this is also… different than a “usual” headache.  Thankfully so far, it is just sitting around in the back of my head, annoying me with its persistence and  reluctance to die down – but it isn’t a bad headache – it doesn’t really hurt – just annoying… all… the… time.

On that note, I’m going to stop rambling and try to relax.  More later, and thanks for reading!

– C

Chemo Day 2 – keeping’ the faith

11:15am
Back in the saddle today. They are doubling up the pumps on Chris in hopes that they can push his 3 drugs plus saline simultaneously and save him a little time. We are still looking at 4-5 hours in here all told, but that’s better than pushing up toward 6 hours, since he gets an additional drug today, his bleomyicin which he takes once a week.

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Mother-effin’ CYBORG!

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.
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Dinner with friends

On Saturday night we went to dinner with Jim, Michelle, and Jim’s sister Kelly who was visiting from out of town. We went to Saffron Grill, which is very near our home, and features Indian and Mediterranean fare.

It was lovely catching up with Kelly, who we hadn’t seen since late 2011, and hang with J n M. But the real piece de resistance was the dessert they brought us at the end. Of course we made Chris pose with them it. And no, this was not planned in any way; just a hilarious coincidence. Chris rolled his eyes the entire time.

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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. Continue reading

The First Oncology Appointment

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

This orchiectomy is RADICAL!

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

The Way It All Went Down…

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