Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chemo Begins Tomorrow

Team Miner:  

I visited Jeff today.  Finally!  He got to hold Lydia briefly, went for a walk around the floor with my mom, and began kicking my butt in a new, epic Racko battle.  He also joined Twitter, gamed with Ben, and drank (I believe) no less than three banana-berry smoothies.  This morning he Skyped - via time zones and continents - with the "Animals of Dissertation Writing" and he visited with Shawn and Megan tonight.  All this for a guy who is starting real chemo tomorrow. 

Regarding chemo, we met with Dr. Ai this afternoon who will be in charge of the regimen.  R-EPOCH is extremely intense, but she has high hopes for Jeff.  He will be in the hospital every three weeks to receive 6-8 chemo sessions.  The chemo will be administered by continuous infusion over the course of 5-6 days. To ward off any cancer in the central nervous system, he will receive one drug intraspinally.  After the chemo is administered inpatient, provided his health is okay, he will be at home for the balance of those three week cycles.  

I do not envy him this grueling endeavor.  He will really need our support. 

One thing that hit home for me today, without explaining all the medical details, is that Jeff's cancer is far more widespread than I ever anticipated. Two weeks ago I still had hopes that the CT scan the GP ordered was probably going to turn up nothing more than stress and indigestion, or maybe (just maybe) eventual blood work would reveal some sort of thyroid imbalances.  I knew, and insisted, that Jeff needed to see a doctor, but I never ever dreamed of cancer.  

Yet, here we are.  

So I'm working on acceptance.  I'm trying hard not to dwell on what could have been or what might be.  We are where we are and we can only make the most out of each day that we have.  Carpe Diem - as many wise friends who have walked this kind of road before are advising me.  Some days that is much easier said than done.  

As I prepare to send more cancer fighting energy to Jeff, and, before I hit the hay in anticipation of nursing Lydia a couple of times during the night and (probably) getting kicked by Stella in bed when she joins me for a "sleepover," I will sign off with a couple of lines from an old hymn - "How Firm a Foundation" (pub. 1787).  This is my "drive to and from the hospital/life is super intense/I'm feeling down and out and need some inspiration" anthem as of late.  The Fernando Ortega version is my JAM: 
  1. "How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
    Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
    What more can He say than to you He hath said—
    To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
  2. “Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
    For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
    I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
    Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
  3. “When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
    The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
    For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
    And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
  4. “When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
    My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
    The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
    Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
  5. “The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
    I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
    That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
    I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”
Keep sending Jeff (and his doctors) all your best vibes and prayers. 



rabibillybob said...

praying for all

OSULaser said...

Jeff and Katina,

Mary and I want to thank you for posting updates on your blog. Please know that we are praying for all of you.

Terry and Mary Gustafson

ElizabethS said...

If that hymn is your jamz, I say ROCK ON.

(My word verification to make this comment is "the turdshi". Perhaps it could be a good phrase for some hospital nasty-ness.)

dirteens said...

Thanks for the prayers folks. And Lizzy - I think "turdshi" should be a new Balderdash entry, if nothing else.