Thursday, October 15, 2009

Please, Sir, Can I Have Some More?

Matt went solo for Treatment #3 on Tuesday; he figured if old ladies could be there by themselves that he didn't need to bring his mommy along.  I'm sure he managed to keep busy with his trusty companion, the beloved iPhone.  What can't it do, really?  I'm surprised there's not a chemo infusion app by now...

The medical report, in brief--his white blood cells continue to rally, which certainly contributed to his feeling great during this past week in between treatments.  He worked at the office every day last week, right up until the day before chemo.

While the original understanding was that there would be 4 cycles of chemo (8 treatments), Matt learned on Tuesday he would actually undergo 6 cycles (12 treatments).  Surprise!  Four cycles of chemo is most often coupled with radiation treatments afterwards, so although it is a bummer that Matt will winding up his tour of cancer duty in February instead of December, it is still much more preferable to avoid radiation if he can.

Up until this point, having cancer hasn't been that bad.  Slight nausea? Yeah, but no big deal. Fatigue? Sure, a bit.  Really nothing too terrible.  The third time having poison pumped into your body is the charm, apparently, because Matt came home from his treatment looking yellow.  While this experience previously was more akin to a Thomas Kinkade painting, the past few days have been more like Van Gogh's The Parsonage Garden in the Snow. 

It is common for the effects of chemo to worsen as the treatments add up.  This treatment has hit him much harder than the first two, and the 'fun' of this whole thing is wearing off, to put it mildly.  It is difficult for him to muster up the energy to speak, his body is very sore from the Neulasta shot, the nausea is more pronounced....

I had my photographer in the field (Bohdana) snap this picture of the elusive cancer patient...

One alternative medicine really does help with his side effects (take note, all you lawmakers out there).  Previously, Mom fretted over his disinterest or inability to even have some water (which helps the body to process and flush the chemo drugs out of the system sooner).  This afternoon, Matt managed to sit outside, looking unintentionally but convincingly Hunter S. Thompson-esque, for a bit for a more enjoyable form of medicine.  As I write this, he is eating some pretzels and sweet potato soup.

Here's hoping that he only has a few of these really uncomfortable days each treatment.  Throughout all of this, Matt has always said to spare him an ounce of worry.  The knowledge that so many little kids are subjected to this process is unbearable.  For any of you who feel compelled to do something for Matt, you can donate a toy to your local pediatric cancer center.


  1. HI Annie,
    I happened upon your blog b/c I was searching for "soapstone countertops." In addition to a fan of soapstone, I've stumbled upon someone who, like me, has 3 sons, and a brother she loves. I'm cheering for Matt! Love your blog and your kitchen. I've added you to my faves. (How are you liking your soapstone??)

  2. Hi Irene, and thanks for the well wishes! I love love love my soapstone--so glad we chose it!