Earlier today, we were sitting in a hotel hospitality room, watching about 40 young men, all under the age of 30 singing barbershop harmony. Some songs they know well, some they are just learning – still “on the paper” as we say. Their enthusiasm and energy is amazing, and their dedication to learning – not only the music but this form of singing is amazing.
Lyle and I spent the weekend in Belleville, Ontario at the Ontario District of the
Barbershop Harmony Society convention and contest. Our decision to come was made just a couple of weeks ago because of Lyle’s chemo schedule. Luckily this is his good weekend meaning tomorrow is chemo day and he’s had two weeks to get through the last round. And what a round that was!
Yes, I’m late posting again. I need to get more on track with these posts, several people have told me that they read this blog. So, last time started as usual – Lyle checked in at the hospital, cute little wrist band, upstairs for blood work, wait to make sure platelets are good then in the chair, get hooked up and the process begins.
The first “course” is always an anti-nausea pill, then some saline then the chemo. All was well for a few minutes but then we noticed that the palms of his hands had gone bright red and he was clearly uncomfortable. Then his ears and cheeks and neck were red and his arms and his knees and along with this came a bright red rash. The nurse was completely unperturbed by the rash and redness and explained that it’s very common at around this point – treatment 8, 9 or 10 to develop an allergic reaction. She swiftly stopped the chemo and gave him some Benadryl and almost instantly the rash subsided and then went away.
There were some side effects from the Benadryl that were kind of funny — briefly, it made Lyle quite high – those of you who know Lyle, can imagine what that would have been like! He also developed a very brief bout of restless leg syndrome, where he could not keep his legs still. The nurse suggested that he walk around a bit, he did by walking to the washroom, but that, on top of getting somewhat high was just too funny. The nurse said it wouldn’t last, and it didn’t, but they now will give him the Benadryl at the start and who knows how he’ll react. Tomorrow should be very interesting…
So, how has he been? So many people ask me that question. To look at him, you wouldn’t know that he is undergoing chemo. He might look a little tired but he doesn’t look ill. But he’s pretty exhausted lots of the time and he does sleep a lot. This past weekend he didn’t get enough sleep but I suspect he’ll make up for that this week. He did on the drive home.
Last weekend was sort of the same, it was the Canadian Thanksgiving and we were pretty busy. Closing up the trailer and also doing some Thanksgiving visiting. In fact, we really are not completely finished. We have to go back and rake the last of the fallen leaves and do some cleaning. We have a water tank in our trailer that we filled and will use to complete the closing up. I see us as closed now, but Lyle does not see it that way.
And now tomorrow is our next round of chemo. I took the day off – chemo doesn’t start until 10:30, I’m hoping to be able to sleep in a little. This is the latest we’ve ever started and I’m not sure how they decide on their schedules but it is what it is. We’ll see how Lyle reacts to the chemo. People have asked did they tell us about this particular reaction and we can’t recall anyone mentioning it but I’m OK with that, there’s a lot of information and possible reactions thrown at you when you begin this. Something that might happen nearing the end of treatment is so far away that it’s probably for the best not to mention. Lyle’s OK with that and that’s really the main thing.
And back to the convention this weekend, a few friends helped make it possible for us to attend — you know who you are and thanks, thanks, thanks. As they say “it’s GREAT to be a barbershopper!”
And of course, the very best news … 8 down, 4 to go!
Talk to you soon…