Update for October 29
Round 10 was supposed to happen on the 29th. We went to the hospital, Lyle signed in, got his blood taken. Met with the Oncologist and just before going to chemo, the nurse let him know that his platelets were too low, his white blood cell count was low. Likely, the cold that Lyle had all week and perhaps lack of sleep were the culprits. We’ll try again on November 5th.
If Lewis Carol had known about chemotherapy I’m pretty sure he would have referred to the process as “worser and worser”. Lyle was already not feeling 100% as we waited for the treatment to begin (I know it’s hard to believe from the picture above that he wasn’t feeling great, but the singing is Lyle’s best medicine). And we waited a long time too. His treatments are almost always scheduled for first thing in the morning – 8 to 8:30 a.m. This one wasn’t scheduled until 10:30 a.m. – for the blood test and then the lab does their lab thing and then if all is well chemo begins. Chemo was scheduled to start at 11:30, but didn’t begin until about 1:30. In the end it was OK that Lyle was the last patient on the unit. But as I was saying, Lyle wasn’t feeling great and he couldn’t wait to be lying down. In fact, for the first time he chose a bed instead of one of the lazy boy chairs… with visions of sleeping dancing in his head — well, not quite right away —
It became clear to both of us I think that by round 9, staff are paying much closer attention. Later Lyle said that every time he opened his eyes the nurses were watching him. I too was much more watchful. In the early stages of Lyle’s treatment the effects were so clearly short term and although he had immediate reactions to some things, nothing seemed too scary and he maintained his sense of humour. To both of us, I think it was a learning experience and somewhat fascinating as well. This time was different – his blood pressure was very high, and it was easy to think some scary thoughts, such as could he have a heart attack while lying here? I wonder if the nurses were looking for that possibility too. I didn’t ask them but they were certainly very attentive and watchful. In fact the oncologist dropped by a couple of times to check on him – first time for that.
To back up a little, Lyle was already feeling not great prior to chemo starting and he was even wondering if his blood work would indicate that chemo might not be a good option that day. So that hurdle was crossed and chemo began. The first thing they do is check blood pressure, and his was HIGH. That sure got their attention! From the last experience they knew that he would be getting Benadryl to help avoid that same allergic reaction, but now they had high blood pressure to deal with too. Even thought it’s only been a couple of days I can’t quite recall the order of drugs but I think it went anti-nausea pill first, then Benadryl, then the saline solution – Lyle might remember – then check the blood pressure – getting even higher so the doctor prescribed a pill to hopefully bring down the blood pressure and also help Lyle to sleep. (The Benadryl makes Lyle restless), then chemo. Whatever the order, the latest pill (taken under the tongue, left to dissolve, no water) did the trick and his blood pressure dropped and he eventually slept. He did react a little to the Benadryl with the restless legs and there was a spreading of redness but no apparent rash. The doctor was considering adding more steroids following the chemo, before going home but he didn’t need them. By the end of the session his colour was normal, though a little pale. He was very tired though. He did sleep through most of the treatment and when I got him home he slept pretty much from about 5:30 pm to 2:30 a.m. up for a brief time then back to sleep until the morning.
The next day, Lyle seemed much better. He had a couple of appointments and ended up being busy all day long. That was tiring but he did OK, all that sleeping the day before may have helped. He still has his good appetite. The cold is bothering him even more now, he can’t touch the car door handles now so he’s going to need to start wearing gloves outside I guess. Since he was sleeping when I left for work I don’t know how he is today. Will keep you posted.
Although I am thrilled that we are at
9 down and 3 to go
… the downside is that the impact is much stronger and longer-lasting.
So to cheer all of us up, I cordially invite everyone reading this to attend the Hamilton Harbourtown Sound Christmas Show on Saturday December 1. After their amazing, goose-bumping riveting performance this past weekend, you don’t want to miss this show. Really!