Saturday, March 31, 2012

Family Update...

It's time for another family update.

Jim had his appointment with his oncologist on Thursday. We all felt the cancer had spread because of his symptoms and unfortunately we were correct. Some of the original spots had increased in size and there were also some new ones.

Since Jim hadn't responded to the hormone therapy he began chemo the same day. The doctor said that the chemo he would be receiving wouldn't be anything like Reid's chemo. In fact, Jim didn't even need a chemo port since this chemo can be given directly into a vein. (Reid joked that his wasn't at all fair.)

The doctor asked if Jim would consider having a bone marrow aspiration done for research purposes. It would have to be done before the chemo began. Reid had gone along with us for the appointment and he has had many of those done, so he encouraged Jim to agree. Reid has said in the past that although it's not pleasant it's definitely tolerable. So, Jim had that done before the chemo began.

Needless to say, it was another long day for us down at MD Anderson. We were talking recently and wondering how many hours we've actually spent down there, how many miles we've put on the vehicles, and how much we've spent for parking. We couldn't even begin to figure it out. In the last two and a half years it's been many!

We all get so tired. It's an hour each way and then we spend a lot of time waiting between appointments. They have plenty of comfortable areas to sit with couches, recliners, etc., but it does get boring. Many times we've been gone from home 10-12 hours. The next day is always a wasted day. It's like we need a day to recover. Reid joked one time that they must put something in the A/C to calm and relax everyone and that's why we get so tired. Personally, I think the stress has a lot to do with it. It just never seems to end.

Anyway, Jim is actually feeling a little better than he had been, but the doctor said that the Prednisone he would receive before the chemo would probably give him extra energy for a couple of days and then he'd feel fatigued. This is totally different from what Reid experienced...thank goodness! Jim is able to eat and hasn't had any nausea. He'll go back again in three weeks for another infusion.  Hopefully, this is the way it will always be.

Meanwhile, Reid goes on April 9th for all his scans. His first appointment that day is 6:45 and the last one is at 3:00 which actually means he probably won't be done until 5:00 or 6:00, so it will be another very long day. Hopefully, that one lymph node they've been watching will have shrunk and he won't need another biopsy.

I kind of thought by now we'd be able to resume a somewhat normal life, but it doesn't look like that will happen anytime soon.  I guess this is our "new normal" now.  Isn't that what they call it?

I  started walking again some weeks back, but it didn't last. I used to walk at least three miles a day, but that all came to a screeching halt when I got busy with my Dad and then Reid. I know I feel so much better when I exercise, but there's so much to do around here now after letting so many things go while we were busy with my Dad and Reid. I'm hoping I can get back to painting the dining room that we started before Christmas. It's about five or six different colors because I kept trying out paint colors on the woodwork. I bought more paint, so at least that's a start. With a little luck I might get some done this week.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep up with at least a weekly Alphabe-Thursday post. I don't spend much time online. Often I'm just too tired to get online in the evening and too busy during the day, but it's been that way for some time now.  The blog sure makes it easier for me to communicate.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers.


  1. Betty - I am so sorry all of you have to go thru this and I will be praying. You have had your dad, son, and now hubs. You have had a full load. Love and hugs, sandie

  2. I just hate it that your husband's cancer has spread! I hope the chemo does it's job and kicks some cancer butt so he can get better or at least feel better than he has. I can't imagine spending all that time that you have spent at a hospital. We live a good half hour from anywhere so I know what it is like to go out and be out for a long time just from going shopping.

    I go to my first visit with an oncologist on April 9th. I'm still hoping and praying that I won't need to do chemo and I can just take that pill for 5 years.


  3. Betty, you have been a tower of strength to both Reid and Jim. And yes, you are right, walking can be therapeutic for you. Trust me...I know! Please hold on...:)JP

  4. Oh, Betty, I can understand that you must all be exhausted. Do take care of YOU, too! Thinking of you. Lots of love from Sicily. xx

  5. Hi, Betty, I wondered how things are going. I'm glad Jim started chemotherapy and that he is having a relatively easy time with it so far. Such long days at the hospital. Will he do follow-ups after ten days? I'm off for mine tomorrow. I've felt so darn sick so far in this cycle.


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