Friday, June 09, 2017

Chemo Update: Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 Almost Done

We survived the 2nd cycle of chemo!

There weren't really any surprises this round. Thankfully... Andy handled the treatments very well again. He did get nauseous and threw up a bit once after the first week. This was the day he also ran a low-grade temp which kept crawling up to right below the "call the doctor" threshold. I was grateful when suddenly his temp was back to normal. Praise the Lord!

His white blood cell count was down in the last week of the 1st cycle. It was back to excellent numbers on the first day of the 2nd cycle which was an answer to prayer. This is a very normal part of chemo and seems to happen for Andy on the 3rd week of each cycle so far.

The big reason we did not want the beginning of the 2nd cycle to be delayed was because of an event that was scheduled. Andy has prayed and desired to start a Southern Gospel quartet for many years. In the past year, it has begun to come together. The quartet had their first performance scheduled for last Saturday. (Scheduled before diagnosis.) Had the beginning of the 2nd cycle been delayed a week, he would not have been able to perform. But, he was able and it went very well!

Time flies and now we're almost at the end of cycle 3 as well! He had a rougher time with nausea during the first week of the 3rd cycle. We actually used the at-home nausea meds for the first time.

The first day of cycle 3 landed on Memorial Day so the chemo center was closed. Because the regime Andy is on requires 5 straight days of chemo the first week of the cycle, they sent him to the local hospital for treatment that day. He was in a room in the oncology unit and received the infusions as usual. We were there for 10 1/2 hours instead of the typical 7 hours at the chemo center. We knew going in that it could take a good bit longer  just because of the difference in processes and they might need to keep him overnight if infusions went past a certain time. Thankfully, they didn't and he could come on home that evening! We're grateful that is behind us and hope treatment doesn't fall on another holiday!

He does seem to have caught some kind of chest congestion with lots of coughing. With his immune system being down, this is quite normal but we need to be careful to watch that it doesn't get worse. Our weather could also contribute to this although Andy doesn't usually suffer from seasonal allergies. I know he would appreciate your prayers that this will clear up.

When we first got the diagnosis, the oncologist said there would be three 3-week cycles of chemo. We then switched to another doctor within the same network in order to do chemo treatments close to home. The new doctor says that four 3-week cycles of chemo are protocol for the type and stage of the cancer Andy is dealing with. So the two doctors are discussing whether a 4th cycle is needed. We appreciate the doctors being thorough. The new doctor said he could see why the first doctor only prescribed three cycles but because four cycles is protocol, he wants to be sure and make the best decision. We are praying that they will have great wisdom as they make this decision!

So that, in a nutshell, is how the past few weeks have gone!

And just for fun, I leave you with a picture of our cute little Willie!


Paula Furtado Santos said...

I'm glad he is feeling better and we'll be praying for both of you!
Have a blessed weekend!

Rhonda said...

Hi Mary Ann, I'm so sorry Andy is going through this. I don't know much about cancer treatments but unfortunately I'm learning. My dad has skin cancer and has undergone so many procedures for it for more than 20 years. Then my brother and DIL were both recently diagnosed with other types of cancer and both will be doing daily radiation treatments all summer. I learned from them that chemo is a lot harder than radiation, so I can know your Andy is really going through the ringer for now.
In all this, I am thankful for prayer and for modern medicine to treat these horrible cancers.
I'm glad you are updating your blog.
Sending prayers that Andy will be fine

And your dog looks very very sweet ❤️

meme said...

Hi mary ann - your husband continues to be in my thoughts and prayers -- just to remind you my husband is a recent stage 4 cancer survivor. My husband also had the three cycle chemo - 3 weeks apart -- then daily radiation and weekly chemo - his cancer was in the tonsils and lymph node. it is now four months since my husband was declared NED - no evidence of disease - and is doing well - his hair has grown back curly! He is having after effects of the chemo though - terrible joint pain, he is now permanently mostly deaf, terribly forgetful. Tell your Andy my husband is back to mowing the lawn and doing yard work - Andy will also get thru this and be back to yard work himself!! my thoughts are with you.