Home At Last

Hello Everyone, Just a quick update on what has been going on. Joel finished up his last bag of chemo & we were discharged late last night. When he is in the hospital we got his first 2 bags of chemo quickly-they take only about an hour to administer both of them. The third round of drugs is so potent & strong that it has to be administered to him slowly. So that means that they give him 3 full bags of the last chemo (I call it fruit punch because that's what it resembles!) over a slow 72 hour period. We finished up with that last night & were able to go home & sleep in our own comfy bed. I was especially excited about it because at the hospital there is no bed for me & I have to sleep in a not-so-comfy recliner.( *Funny story on the recliner-it kept squeaking all night long so my Dad came up that night with some WD-40 to solve the problem. We flipped the recliner over & out fell a bunch of peanuts from Lord knows how long ago-ha ha.) After they finished they released us & 24 hours later we had to head back to our doctors office for a shot for Joel. This shot helps to boost his white blood cell count to help fight against any infection. Infection & sickness are 2 of the biggest things that we have to worry about with Joel. Because the chemo drugs severely weaken his immune system we have to keep a close eye on him. We have been told if his temperature ever rises above a 100.4 to immediately take him to the ER. They actually gave me a thermometer to keep in my purse so I can take his temp at a moments notice. Wow. There's so many things that we have to keep on top of it's a bit overwhelming. But we are one chemo treatment down & 21 more to go.

As far as how he is feeling-he is feeling just ok. He hasn't had any major symptoms but he has just had a lot of little things. He has been extremely tired & has lost his appetite. Today the hospital gave us a book of small yet high-protein meals that he can eat to help him from dropping too much weight. We need him to stay at a healthy body weight in order to keep from getting sick. They told us to carry around plastic silverware with us because regular utensils at a restaurant could cause a metallic taste in his mouth. We are getting educated very quickly on the "do's" & "don'ts". We are thankful for no major symptoms but it is still hard watching him over-all feel very icky & knowing that it is still such a long road ahead. I measure our time by seasons. I know fall will come & we will be in the hospital. Winter will come, then spring, then a full summer & once fall rolls around again we will just about be over. It has been nice to see us knocking on fall's door. It was odd to go into the hospital with the summer heat blaring & come out a week later to what seemed like total fall weather. Such an analogy for life in general. Life can change from one moment to the next-just like the seasons do. When you are in the summer try to appreciate the warmth of that moment knowing that the relief of fall will soon be upon you. We know better days are ahead.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!