Chemo Days are Here Again

Good Morning All, Hope everyone had a great weekend. Monday's are Monday's-so hard to get back into the groove. We start our week today at the infusion center for chemo round #6. After this round we will have 12 more to go. I realized that after today we will officially be 1/3 of the way done with chemo. It may seem like a small thing but for us it is a pretty big milestone. It makes us feel as if we are finally making headway. I remember at the beginning feeling like chemo would never end. I feel thankful that we are making progress no matter how slowly it feels like it is moving. Joel has gone into this round already feeling pretty sick. The sinus bug that hit me has unfortunately hit him as well. This is the first time that he has gone into chemo already feeling sick so we are going to be praying extra hard this round doesn't hit him too hard. His last round he struggled pretty bad with nausea. Today they have given him a different kind of nausea medicine through his IV that stays in his system for longer. We are hoping this will do the trick & knock out the nausea. When you are already worn out, tired & having an array of other symptoms-it is difficult to have to deal with nausea on top of that. To me, when I use to think of chemo I would think of nausea, vomiting etc. Our nurse today has been in this field for over 30 years & she was telling us that the nausea medicines for chemo patients have come a long way. There are so many drugs available now that they should be able to tinker with the formula to find something that will work for the patient. During the old days, there was nothing for patients to combat nausea. They would often have to be admitted in the hospital & given medicine that basically knocks them out to keep from throwing up.

For those of you who wonder what a normal chemo day is like for us, it is really pretty simple. We come to the infusion room at OU Medical. It is a big room with 12 chairs spread out throughout the room. Joel sits in a nice comfy leather chair & I have a chair beside him. Almost every chemo patient normally has someone here with them throughout their chemo process sitting beside them. There are 5-6 nurses that are just here to administer chemo. They are wonderful ladies that are right there as soon as you need anything. They have blankets, snacks, books, games, & TV's to keep you entertained. Throughout the day Joel chomps on ice, sucks on Jolly Ranchers & sips on juice in order to combat the taste of the drugs that he can sometimes taste as it goes through his body. Normally as Joel receives his chemo he will sit in the chair & sleep or play on his laptop. I sit beside him on my laptop & work. Since Joel has a port in his chest as soon as he comes here they connect an IV to his port. They first draw his blood to make sure that his body is able to handle the chemo that day. Once those numbers come back ok they give him antibiotics & nausea medicine through the port. That takes about an hour or so. Then they administer 2 of the chemo drugs through his IV as a drip. That takes a couple of hours. Then the last chemo drug they do as a push, not through his IV, but in a syringe through his port. The next day we come in & get a shot for him that boosts his white blood cells. It is not the most fun process but it is infinitely better than doing it in the hospital.

I know I say it all the time, but thank all of you who continue to keep us in your prayers. We never take those prayers for granted. Hope you all have a wonderful week!