Sunday, June 29, 2014

happy place

Well ventilated room #ygk #construction #brickwall #windows We've been having a lovely, quiet weekend at home so far and it has been lovely.  Early morning coffee on the porch is something we've been looking forward to all year.  It's green and peaceful in the morning.  We can sit quietly and listen to the birds calling out throughout the neighbourhood and watch the squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits running around.  Who needs TV when the floor show in the yard is so much fun.

One thing I was not expecting was for the truly summer-y weather to arrive so fast.  I never do very well when it's really humid.  You would think that growing up along the shore of Lake Ontario, I'd have adjusted by now but really, I haven't.  It slapped me in the face again this year, just like it does every year, and while I'll be okay in a few days, the adjustment period is always kind of gross.

Mark is feeling much better this weekend.  The new meds are working well and he's got his energy back.  Yesterday, he got the yard work done that he wanted to do and right now, he's in at the rental house, doing a couple of things before our new tenants move in.  It's nice to see him happy again, he was so miserable last weekend. 

He has chemo again this week and hopefully, with the new meds he has, it won't be too horrible.   Good or bad, every round is a new adventure and just keep trying to stay focused on the end. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

better and better

High lighted danger #ygkFinally, I think Mark's starting to feel a bit better. He went back to work yesterday and the new meds he got from the cancer clinic seem to be helping. His stomach is starting to settle down a bit. 

They gave him a super mega high dose of loperamide which is helping.  Funny thing was, they also sent him a prescription for the one anti-nausea drug he cannot take (because it makes him have more nausea - go figure) but the loperamid is helping and he's no longer afraid to eat which is huge. 

For the past couple of nights, he's been able to sleep and he even got part of the lawn mowed on Monday afternoon (although I think he did too much) which made him feel better mentally.  The whole thing is just exhausting, physically and emotionally.  My hope is that he won't have another "lost weekend" like we just had, again.  It's really hard to watch him going through it, especially when there isn't anything at all that I can do to help.  For all of the information we received about chemo, they really did not prepare us for this.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

long weekend

Poor Mark is still feeling like a bowl of soggy noodles.  Actually, he'd probably say "hammered shit" but either way you describe it, it's not good.

We both went back to work on Friday but I think he should have probably stayed home.  He's been sick all weekend.  The physical part of the sickness is making him crazy.  He is beating himself up because he wants to be outside mowing the lawn.  He's too weak to even think about it and I have had to keep sending him back to bed every time he starts talking about it.  He's a strong guy, a lot stronger than I would probably be if I were in the same situation. Surgical recovery was easier on him than this has been and it's getting to him.

Fortunately, he's sleeping a lot.  I know he's very weak and tomorrow morning, we need to call the cancer clinic and get something for his symptoms.  We've been told that there is no good reason for nausea and diarrhea during chemo, that they have stuff to control it.  Mark has agreed that no matter how he feels in the morning, he'll stay home from work tomorrow.  I want him to get really rested up before he heads back to work.  Hopefully he'll be able to try some new meds too.  We have got to get in front of this.  I'm afraid that if he stays this sick, he'll end up in the hospital, dehydrated, electrolytes all out of whack.

The treatment is obviously not as horrible as the disease but boy, we're really starting to understand why some folks just say no to chemo.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Chemo - round 6

Chemo round 6So we have just passed the half-way point for Mark's chemo.

He has completed 6 rounds and has 6 to go.  Apparently, according to the doctor, the first 5 were "easy" and things are going to get tough from here on out.

If last night was anything to go by, I guess he's not wrong, although I'd hoped he was.  This round seems a lot different from the first 5 and Mark's feeling rough.  Really rough.  We've both been up most of the night and are both staying home from work today.  Hopefully we'll be able to get some sleep. 

Not sure what it is about night time but somehow, daylight seems to make things better.  The sun will be up soon and I'll try to get some tea and toast into him.  If his stomach settles, we'll both be able to sleep, I hope. 

Times like this are difficult and you find yourself questioning decisions you made.  We know that he has to stick with chemo and see it through to the end but honestly, this is pretty bad. 

Monday, June 16, 2014


Cool CutThis weekend, we shaved what was left of Mark's long hair off.

Before I met him, he used to shave his head every few years but since we'd been together he'd been growing it out.  It got quite long and we only very occasionally trimmed the ends.

Chemo seems to be catching up with him a bit and we've noticed that his hair was starting to fall out, little by little, over the past couple of weeks.  On Saturday morning, I was sitting outside with the dogs and Mark walked into the porch with the clippers in his hand.  We grabbed a lawn chair and went outside to do the job. 

It took a bit longer to get it finished than I thought.  By the end, Mark had a lot of hair in his hands.  We put most of it in the compost bin but some of it did get blown away and I'm sure will end up in neighbourhood bird nests. 

The breeze was pretty cool on Saturday and he did feel a bit chilled at times.  All weekend, he kept reaching up for his hair but it wasn't there.  To be honest, I think that he looks a lot healthier and younger with the hair gone.  It was getting pretty straggly and he looked unwell and dragged down by it.  He's thinking about leaving it this way, even after chemo is done. It was weird though, this morning when we were getting ready for work, for me to not braid his hair.  It's something we've done every morning for almost 15 years and it felt odd to not do that today.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Chemo - Round 5

Chemo round 5 - killing cancer cells with bacon #cancersucks #cancerclinic #chemo @kghconnectIt almost feels like we're starting to get the hang of this chemo stuff, at least the clinic part anyway.  When I arrive to meet Mark, I no longer need to give my name, the ladies in the reception area know me. 

This week's visit to the Cancer Clinic was quiet.  It was nice actually after the last couple of visits.  Even though it was only the 5th time we've been there (and I think there are folks there who have visited the place a lot more than we have), you quickly get into a routine with it.

During today's visit, there was a newbie receiving her orientation information (while she received her first treatment).  It was interesting to hear the conversation and we chuckled quietly to ourselves at parts of it.  We have both learned a lot, through trial and error, about how to deal with certain aspects of chemo and much of the advice we received during Mark's first treatment was not super helpful.  The orientation does give you a basic starting point though.  The rest of it, you just figure out as you go along.

In other, non-chemo news, today is the 48th Anniversary of the day my parents were married.  Happy Anniversary Mum & Dad!!