A different sort of day...

Most of the side effects have been tolerable for Michael up until today...This new chemo cocktail that they gave him yesterday (the one that took 5 hours to administer) has knocked him out...It started last night with a fever..sweats...and uncontrollable shaking...This morning the fever was at 102.5...but by noon it had gone down...but he continues to sweat so much that he has had to change his clothing several times now...and he has not been awake for more than a half hour today. My hopes is that his body will get use to this and that this will subside with each continuing treatment...this is so different than the tiredness that we are use to dealing with...
It has come to my attention that anyone who reads this does not really know what it is we are dealing with here...So I am going to try to give it to you the straight talk way....
Michael has a rare form of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (only about 1,500 cases per year are diagnosed)...He does not have any tumors but rather the B cell that is the lymphoma deposited itself into his bone marrow and forms a type of cancerous protein that takes over the majority of the space in his bone marrow so that the white cell...red cells and oxygen cells do not have room to be made. Thus, the white, and red cell counts are very low. This type of cancer is of the blood...He is at Stage 4 (out of 4) and has it in almost 75% of his body. There is no cure for this type of cancer and the chemo treatment is to see if perhaps they can slow the process down by stopping the B cell proteins from making themselves so quickly. That is one of the reasons that they do the blood washings...that removes the protein cells from his body for a few days and allows more of the white and red cells to be made temporally. In 1984 he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and had tumors removed in his neck lymph glands...5 years later they felt good enough to say that he was cancer free....but the little devils had deposited themselves in the bone marrow and have slowly been taking over his body for at least 12 to 13 years (or so they believe) This is a slow growing cancer till it takes over (which is where we are at now) and then they label it an aggressive cancer...
Most Doctors do not choose to give a patient these days a death sentence...they believe that attitude has a great deal to do with how you progress with your treatment.(and Michael believes in this also and does not want to know anything accept for what day he needs to come for treatment and what treatment he needs done at the present time)..The main thing for Michael is just trying to control this cancer in some sort of way and so far it continues to rear its ugly head....We hang on....we go on...we try as hard as possible to do business as usual every day...We go one step forward...one step back...and then we step ahead....but we keep focused as much as possible on the day...So today, was not a good day...but tomorrow we hope will be better.

3 comments:

Barb said...

This is so unbelievable, that Michael's body is going through so much yet he is able to mental focus on the business of the day. I just can't imagine what the two of you are going through. But I do know this: that my problems pale in comparison and I learn from you that when the need calls, there will be the strength to live life, in whatever form it takes.

Luv'n'hugs

Pat Dalke said...

You are right Barb, because of the way Pattie shares herself and her life, you learn that the strength will be there when the need calls...and somehow it is, miraculously.

Multiple Myeloma is also a blood cancer with no solid tumors just the stem cells that reside in the bone marrow are attacked and can't make the red and white blood cells.

I hear so much familiarity in what you and Michael are going through and my thoughts continue to be with you. During the treatments our son Dan always liked to visualize the chemo attacking the cancer cells. That sounds too easy...he still can understand what Michael endures every hour of every day.

Bless you both in the good fight.

Patricia J. Mosca said...

Thank you to all ...
My heart receives all the good wishes
from you and in return sends back my heart felt love...
Thank you!!
Sending Dan my affirmation of well wishes and visualizations....