Lyle’s most recent treatment fell on a Tuesday since the Monday was a holiday.
The good news: we are at the mid-way point! It’s hard to believe that the summer has come and gone and autumn is beginning to show it’s colours. I know officially it is still the summer season but it’s September and the kids are all off to school, evenings are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter.
For Lyle and I it was a most unusual summer as you can imagine. In fact, we’ve both agreed that in some ways 2012 is a bit of a write-off, starting with Lyle’s surgery and now the chemo. Several of Lyle’s family is visiting one of his sister’s cottages this week but we know we couldn’t do that this year. Not with a nurse visit every Wednesday to change dressings. We didn’t attend the Barbershop district spring convention and it’s up in the air if we’ll go to the fall convention. So I think it’s easier to say let’s write it off and we’ll start over in 2013.
A dear man who lost his battle to cancer earlier this summer told Lyle that cancer is a “pain in the ass”.
Well, he sure was right about that, in more ways than one and I’ll get to that a little later. The friend was a fellow barbershop singer named Rodger who was also a “Rancher”. He spent the winter months going through chemo and had just finished treatment. He spent a very brief time at the Ranch but then was readmitted to hospital and more cancer was discovered, he died soon after. We all miss him. Lyle is very grateful that he had some time with Rodger to visit and talk about the whole process. Lyle hadn’t yet started but he was about to. So he and Rodger had a great visit and Lyle has that memory that he values. Lyle is getting the “pain in the ass” part more and more.
We had been told by the visiting nurse, the oncologist and her nurse that the chemo accumulates in the body. As we move along that really does seem to be happening. Lyle feels the chemo more quickly, he actually slept in the hospital as he was getting chemo this time – a first and he has been sleeping and napping more frequently. And the pain in the ass comment? Hemorrhoids! Ugly and so very painful (I asked Lye if it was OK to mention this and he said yes). It’s gotten worse over the last few days to the point that yesterday we took him to emergency just to confirm that he does have them and was there anything that can be done. We are at the Ranch this weekend, by the way. It’s rained pretty much the whole time but Lyle still really likes to be here and I don’t mind right now either.
Those hemorrhoids are painful. We started with an over the counter ointment that did nothing, so by yesterday it was clear that we needed someone to look at it. So after looking for walk-in clinics in the area the best solution seemed to be to go to the emergency at the Newmarket Hospital. Long wait but when he finally saw the doctor he gave us only a couple of choices. These are external hemorrhoids so not much can be done with them other than to lance them or prescribe something for them. The doctor could have lanced them then and there but the risk of infection is too high and that’s not good when you are going through chemo. So all he could do was prescribe an ointment. It took a while to find a pharmacy that was open and carried it, Shoppers Drug Mart did not but Wal-Mart Pharmacy did, go figure… At least briefly the ointment helps. He doesn’t feel the pain but it doesn’t last and Lyle doesn’t feel that they are shrinking, in fact he thinks there may be another one beginning. Tomorrow he will need to see his oncologist nurse and maybe his family doctor and he might have to make a decision.
So that’s where we are at. Even though he describes himself as “sick and tired and grouchy and (now) a pain in the ass!”, if you talk to Lyle you’ll likely be impressed with his great attitude and how healthy he looks. So that’s a blessing.
6 more, 6 to go!