Today is Thursday, November 1st, 2018, and we have now completed week 1 of Dad’s first round of chemotherapy. For the past week (since his treatment last Thursday), he has been extremely tired, weak, short of breath, and nauseated. He has lost at least 6 pounds in the past week, and getting him to eat more than what a bird would has been nearly impossible.
Day 7 Timeline of Events:
I peeked in on Dad and he was still in bed, though he was awake. I asked him if he needed anything. He said “I think I’ll come down and have a bowl of cereal. Yeah, I think that’s what I’ll do”. I wanted to jump for joy. I thought, are we coming out of the woods from the side effects of chemo?
He had a bowl of cereal (Frosted Mini Wheats), and he even cut up a banana to put on his cereal, which is very routine for my dad, but not in this past week. He then asked me if I would brew him some decaf coffee. Of course I will. He hasn’t had a cup of coffee since his treatment. I made him a cup of coffee, got today’s paper out, and he enjoyed his coffee while reading the news. He then prepared his bills (mortgage for his home in Florida, and a check for his lawn care guy in Florida).
As far as I’m concerned, this morning was a success. I gave him an anti-nausea pill, and he’s back in the recliner napping. It’s 11:15am.
He didn’t sleep very long. Maybe a 1/2 hour. He was reading the paper again when his brother Jimmy stopped by at 1:00pm; he stayed for about an hour. As soon as Uncle Jimmy left, I immediately asked Dad what I could make for him to eat. I was afraid he would sit back down and fall asleep without eating. We decided on 2 scrambled eggs, 2 pieces of toast with butter and jelly, and a glass of orange juice. It’s never too late in the day for breakfast food.
After he ate, he looked for some paperwork with his oncologist’s phone number. I was trying to encourage him to call because the last few days have been more painful for him. The morphine does not seem to be working as well as it did when first prescribed. The oncologist told us during the initial biopsy appointment that this may happen, and if it does, call and she will change the dosage. She told him there is no reason he should have to be in pain. He did take a pain pill though, and sat back down in the recliner without calling. He is asleep, but it is the longest he has been awake for over a week! He made it about 2 1/2 hours, so today is definitely looking like the best day so far since his chemotherapy.
The evening got away from me. I went to the grocery store at approx. 4:30pm, Dad was sleeping when I left. My husband and son were home with him. When I returned home, my husband said, “well, you don’t have to worry about feeding your Dad dinner, Austin fed him”. God love my 20 year old son. He has a heart as big as Texas. He fed Grandpa smoked salmon for dinner. Anyhow, Dad has been awake most of the evening. I just gave him a piece of banana bread and a glass of milk. He said he is going to watch some of the basketball game and go to bed.
All in all, today was a pretty good day. For those of you reading this because you have a family member who may be in the same situation, I don’t want you to think that Dad is feeling “great”. He is simply feeling “a little bit better than yesterday”. At this point, I’ll take it, and pray for an even better day tomorrow!