Archive for November, 2008

16
Nov
08

Cancer Update

Back in October (around the 24th) we found out that the kidney cancer had metastasized to hubby’s bones. So he had a treatment on the 27th to attack the bone cancer with a drug called Zometa (we were under the impression it would be a monthly treatment but now are told it will be ‘as needed’). Not only did he experience all of the side effects possible (to the extreme intensity for all of them) but he also experienced a horrible 24 hours of fevers ranging from 101.2 – 103.6.

On the 28th he was to have his first treatment from the clinical study but he called and said look, I have to play hookey here, I feel rotten. I’m puking, my head feels like someone is using a Sawsall to cut it off, I can’t stop shaking, I have a fever, I can’t keep an aspirin down and I’m dehydrated. I don’t think I’m able to do the treatment.

The response? Well, we’ll talk to the doctor and call you back.

They called back about 2 hours later and said he needed to come in anyway to get the other treatment going. That did NOT make him or me happy. He goes to the clinic and not 45 minutes later he’s back home. Yep, they agreed, he should not have that treatment that day. Duh. So they scheduled him for the 30th.

The treatment on the 30th went well, absolutely ZERO side effects except he was tired and slept and rested more than usual that Thursday afternoon and into late Friday morning.

His second treatment for the clinical study was on November 13th. He was in bed at 10 that night and didn’t get out of bed until 4:45pm on Friday. Much longer than the first treatment but still no other side effects. We’re not complaining. Though I have to admit I did go into the bedroom at one point on Friday about 4 and asked – are you dead? Nope. Want me to make some coffee? Yep. Okay.

He was back in bed at 10 and then up at 8:30 to bring me out to Metyme’s (she hasn’t blogged in a while, claims she’s too busy working at a job – gasp – she loves!) where we spent a wonderful day just hanging out and knitting, playing with the cats and Metyme trying to figure out how to convert files so she could play them on her new toy, the iPod Touch, and even though I had a hissy fit earlier in the day with the ATM machine (never you mind) the day was so grand and so very, very needed.

As for whether or not he has cancer in the brain, they told us no. If you recall we thought that would explain the ‘word switches’ he was experiencing. Here’s what is so bizarre. Within a couple of days of the bone cancer treatment, he wasn’t making those word switches anymore like I mentioned in previous posts. Both he and I noticed them for months before the diagnosis – saying calendar for candle, for example. I haven’t heard him do it ONCE since the bone cancer treatment. Whether that has anything to do with the treatment for the bone cancer or not, we don’t care. All we know is, his mind is better and no more word twists. Something to be grateful for, right?

Later gators – enjoy your Sunday!

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I Will Love Him Forever

The love of my life passed away peacefully on February 28, 2010. The fight he put up through this tough journey is truly commendable.

Though I am sad at his passing, I am so grateful for the time I had with him, our families and our friends. The memories of our times together will sustain me forever.

I think this quote, shared with me by a loving cousin, sums up how I feel.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

My Cancer Hat

I'm a person who hates wearing hats, both literally and figuratively. Now I will be wearing a caregivers cancer hat because my husband has cancer and I need to be strong for him. But I also need a place to vent, look for support and find strength.

Hopefully, this blog will enable me to deal with the process and meet others who are going through a similar challenge.

TB’s Cancer

TB, my husband (TB is his nickname), has kidney cancer, stage 4. He had a kidney and the tumor that was in it removed in 2005. We discovered in September 2008 that it had returned and has now metastasized to his bones, specifically his right femur plus spots on his skull, his spine and his ribs, the inside and outside of his lungs, his brain. He is not curable.

TB was originally participating in a clinical study that would provide him with a treatment that would halt, for an unknown length of time, the proteins from getting to the cancer cells. So in essence, slowing but not curing, the progression of the cancer. There is no question he will die from this, the unknown factor is the 'when' it will happen.

Unfortunately, TB had to be removed from the study as the metastases have grown. He was placed on a new regimen of Aerida and Sutent but that didn't work out. It made him too ill. Now he's on a daily regimen of Afinitor - "Plan C" as we call it. Basically, we're working to extend his life but in a manner that will allow him to still enjoy it and maintain his dignity.

1/27/2010 - At the suggestion of our oncologist, TB will no longer take any cancer medications as the benefits do not outweigh the possible negative side effects a new medication would have. He will be transferred soon to a facility where he can receive rehab, as he is extremely weak due to the pneumonia and inactivity. Our goal is to improve his quality of life as best we can.

2/21/2010 - Frank is now home, we've begun hospice care.

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