Showing posts from January, 2014

Quickie Wes CancerUpdate

Just a super quick update: 

Wes is just three radiation treatments away from being DONE with radiation.  We will both be GLAD.  The side of his head is rather burned.  This afternoon he meets with his chemo oncologist to find out about the new chemo regimen/dosages that he will be on after radiation is over.  He is also, at last, being weaned off his steroid. 

Getting off radiation and the daily chemo is definitely the end of "phase one", so to say.  It feels like a milestone, but it is one with a big tinge of dread attached to it.  As far as standard treatment goes, this is IT.  Unless Wes can find a neurosurgeon that does NOT think his tumor is inoperable, it will just be monitoring the tumor from now on for re-growth.

I'll be glad to see the radiation burns diminishing.  I hope his hair and beard can grow back.  But it may not, with the larger weekly chemo dose he'll be on. 

I can tell he gets worn out more than he used to.  He lacks energy reserves, but can stil…

And it is Good.

Today I was contemplating life with chronic illness.  Of course, for me life with chronic illness has become normal.  I am used to it.  My life with chronic illness is just MY life.  It is the way it is.  I was thinking of how there are so many things that I have to be grateful for, such as the love of friends and family, a warm home, plenty of food, the ability to go worship God at Church in the Divine Liturgy.  I have the Eucharist with which and for which to give thanks.   I am surrounded by such a loving and great "cloud of witnesses".  I have prayer. 

There is the grass under my feet.  There is the air, and the free animals that roam around and grace me with their visits, like Mr. Cardinal that loves to perch on the driver's side rear view mirror of my van when it is parked in the driveway, and Mrs. Cardinal who is often nearby.  The chipmunk who lives under the rock in our front yard, and all the squirrels.  There are occasional visits from rather well-fed raptors …

Looking Towards Lent

Today Wes came home from radiation treatment and told me he only has 8 treatments left!  Next time he goes in, they will recalibrate, and focus the beam on a smaller area on his head. 

After the radiation is over it is over, and he will not be eligible for this type of treatment anymore.  His chemo dose will change to maintenance, and then the scary part happens. 

I feel like this part of it...these early days, with him not having side effects from the chemo...have been our reprieve. 

It is easy to pretend, almost, that things are normal. 

On March 5 he is scheduled for his MRI and about a week later we will meet with the neurosurgeon to hear the results:  What did the treatment do so far.  After that, it's monitoring his condition every three months or so, and continuing to take maintenance chemo. 

His tumor is in an inoperable spot.  If it grows into a more accessible area, they will at least be able to get to that. 

Of course the MRI might just show that he's been hea…

A Rose by any Other Name...

Another week has gone by, and Wes is withstanding his radiation and chemo in remarkable ways.  He feels fine.  He has tons of energy.  He's working.  He's doing chores around the home.  He is cheerful (except when he thinks about possibly not being around to take care of his family...then he gets teary eyed). 

I am praying that the chemo and radiation, but most of all prayer, makes it all go away (which would be a miracle).  I am praying for healing or for many years of remission. 

Because physically I am not doing well at all.  The debilitating fatigue and pain I deal with is worse than ever.  I take my vitamins, my meds, get sleep, eat healthy food, exercise when I can....nothing helps.  It just is. 

I've been reading about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome lately.  I was under the (apparently mistaken) impression that Fibromyalgia and CFS are two manifestations of the same illness (this being the medical opinion expressed by Dr. Paul St. Amand in "What Your Doctor May No…