Things I hate: cancer, chemo, decision making, regrets

Yesterday we went to Columbus for Kesey’s first chemo treatment.  If you’ve read previous posts, you know this decision was not made lightly.  We felt like it was the best thing for Kesey and that we would later regret not doing chemo if we didn’t do it.  I think I still feel that way.

So, we show up at Medvet, meet with the oncologist, talk thru options.  She recommends a combo treatment of adriamycine and carobplatin.  Adria can effect Kesey’s heart.  He’ll need to take antibiotics b/c it will kill so many white blood cells.  When we take him for his follow up blood work w/Dr. Sporer, we need to run him in quickly and leave right away so he doesn’t pick up any disease at in the vet office.  The more she talks about this treatment, the more sick I begin to feel and I wish we could all just leave.  So, the recommendation is adria yesterday, come back in two weeks for carbo, come back in three weeks for adria, back in two weeks for carbo, and continue this until we’ve had a total of six treatments.  In total, this would stretch out for more than four months.  Ugh…hating the idea more and more.  The oncologist in Akron recommended 3-4 treatments of carbo only, each three weeks apart.  Now that we’d worked so hard to go to medvet b/c we liked the overall office so much better, I’m wishing we were doing carbo only and wishing we were in Akron.  Also, this doctor does not want to work with holistic meds and tells us not to use any of them.  Why didn’t I ask about this before???  Why am I so unable to make a decision and feel good about it?

G is with us in the exam room and he and I ended up leaving b/c he would not stop talking and if we left at least L could pay attention to what the doctor was saying.

So appointment ends and L, G and I leave Kesey there for his adria treatment.  L and I feel literally sick and so sad and so full of regret already.  We meet some favorite friends, Anand and Madey, for dinner at Northstar.   As we pull in, my phone rings.  Kesey’s ECG showed an irregular heartbeat and after running it by the resident cardiologist, the oncologist decided using adria would be too risky.  They recommend a full cardio work up (but cannot do it until another day) and meanwhile recommend starting with carbo.  Feeling even more sick now b/c Kesey’s heart has something wrong, and now we’re poisoning his body with chemo.  I do feel a tiny sense of relief is using carbo instead of adria though.  At least this will give us the option of having future treatments in Akron…if the Akron doc will see us since we started somewhere else.  And poor Dr. Sporer worked so hard to get us in to the Columbus doc, but I think/hope she’ll understand if we want to change the plan.

So we finish dinner and go to pick up Kesey.  He seems okay.  L and I are sad.  We decide to drive home rather than stay overnight.  Kesey needs a good night of sleep and we’d all rather be home.  When we got home, Kesey wouldn’t even stand up to get out of the car.  L got him up finally.  We came inside, gave him a little food and all went to sleep.

L and I have not slept in the same bed since Kesey’s diagnosis.  L sleeps on the first floor with Kesey.  I sleep on the second floor with G.  L said Franklin slept snuggled up close to Kesey all night.  I love Franklin for that.

This morning Kesey ate some canned food and he just went outside to lie on the deck.  I think this is a good sign.  Still,  I’m worried about him.  I’ll be home working all day, so will be close by to keep an eye on him.  L’s heading out to get some things including the rubber gloves we have to wear when handling Kesey’s nausea meds.  Seriously…we have to wear rubber gloves.  I can only imagine what that means about the way the meds will affect Kesey.

Kesey day after chemo 1

So to reiterate, cancer and chemo suck.  And I will clearly never be okay wtih any decisions we are making.  But I do hope that Kesey gets thru this okay and then we can decide on next steps.  I think what I do know for sure is that we will find a way to incorporate holistic care into whatever we are doing.  I’m just not okay leaving that out entirely.

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