Tomorrow we start down a new path and, frankly, it’s a little scary. But, remembering the lesson I learned while reflecting on that one late night in a hospital, I am refusing to entertain fears about what might happen. We’ll deal with any real problems as they occur – not imaginary ones.
This new chemo is much different. There won’t be any daily pills other than supportive medications for nausea, sleeplessness, and other side effects. It will be administered intravenously through her port while she’s at The Spa. Then, for the next few days, she’ll carry with her a small pump that will slllloooowwwllyy administer a very, very strong drug called oxaliplatin. This chemo is derived from platinum and is nasty, nasty stuff, which is why it has to be delivered so slowly. Any faster and it will literally poison her.
Both the type of chemo drug and the delivery mechanism will likely change our chemo dance routine somewhat. I’ll make sure and put my dancing shoes on in the morning because I don’t know what to expect when I get out of class. Maggie will probably still be at The Spa so I’ll drop by. Lori will be with her for support. And Maggie’s mom is coming by tomorrow night to help out, too.
Thank you, everyone, for such positive messages from my last post. It is so meaningful to me to know that the feeling behind my words is clear and to know that you all are interested in my wonderful wife. She means so much to me that it’s difficult to describe directly. Instead I’ve chosen to tell these little stories about our life together as we hold hands while we skip along on Our Great Cancer Adventure. While reading each of your comments, I appreciate you sharing in your own way what feelings bubble up as you read the stories. And it helps me to know that you can feel – really feel – how much I care for Maggie. As simple as that may seem, it’s important.
My optimism in the update “More Details from The Wizard” may have glossed over a few not-so-pleasant facts that I need to share. First, the surgery is definitely not 100% a-go. Maggie’s tumors have got to shrink to a more manageable size first. Everyone definitely believes that they will but the hard work still has to be done before the surgery can be performed. Without this step, it’s all moot.
Second, a much more unpleasant, tumors have a way of become resistant to chemo, all types of chemo. How long till and why that happens is not for us to know. But it does. It’s absolutely key that this chemo continue to work until the tumors have shrunk enough for the surgery. If it stops working, we’ve got real trouble. There aren’t a whole lot of other cards to play at that point. So, yeah… a little scary. Thinking about it gives you that big inhale, doesn’t it?
But Dr. Loukas has been clear that, in his experience, if someone experiences a really good response to one type of chemo, it’s likely they will experience the same good response to other types. So, we’ve definitely got that going for us.
Another big Gold Start is Maggie’s continued tolerance of the chemo drugs. To be frank, her amazing tolerance is the reason we are still fighting this battle. So frequently, the side effects of the chemo drugs require that patients stop or pause treatment, resulting in…. uhm… bad stuff. Because she’s tolerated the side effects so well we’ve had barely a pause in treatment since this has started. Hopefully, that same pattern will continue with this next type of drug. Tomorrow will tell us a lot more.
So, tomorrow 10:15AM at The Spa! You’ve had your little vacation, you bastard tumors! Ready or not – here comes the BOOM!