Quality of Life

This past week gave us such a scare and that iscwhy I haven’t posted. I would start but then couldn’t finish. My husband just started Immunotherapy and the first few days he felt great! Until……he didn’t. At first he thought it was just a cold (considering our son had just gotten over having mono) and to ride it out, except it kept getting worse. He contacted his trial coordinator and Oncologist and they suggested going to our local emergency room for a full blood work-up, urine analysis and chest xray to rule out any infection or something worse. The next day we basically spend all day in the emergency room but good news…. everything came back negative and his chest xray was clear. So, then what the hell is wrong with him?! We treated ourselves to Five Guys because I was craving a burger and they have the best in our small area, that is close. We go home and he gets in his comfy clothes and back under the blankets he goes because the fever is back and he is getting the chills.

So rewind….. when he started feeling sick, I went back into his paperwork for the Immunotherapy and read all the side effects and warnings. I went online to read what the common side effects are for patients on immunotherapy are. They were all the same….. flu-like symptoms! I tried to tell him this is probably what it is and his immune system is fighting the cancer. He wouldn’t listen to me. He wanted to hear it from the doctor. So he felt like do-do the whole weekend.

It’s scary because his comment to me was, this is how he felt before being diagnosed. It was like reliving that nightmare all over again. He made the comment, I can’t live like this, in his lethargic, weak voice. When he said that, it took everything in me to not breakdown crying…..so, I took a deep breath and swallowed the lump in my throat and said…. we have to believe that this is a side effect of the immunotherapy and what they gave you is helping your immune system fight the cancer. We have to hold out on hope that is what is happening. As the weekend went on, his symptoms worsened.

Monday rolls around and its time to head up to Georgetown. Dan was slow moving but he got in the shower and then afterwards he got back in bed. I looked at him and he mumbles out, I almost passed out in the shower. I give him a few minutes so I’m not hovering over him but then I walk over. I sit on the bed and I tell him, we gotta keep moving. It’s ok to go slow, but we can’t stop. We need to get you up to Georgetown. We finally get on our way. This would normally be his IV infusion day, but with how he is feeling, I was scared they were going to keep him over night. We park the car with valet and he is moving so slow and looking so frail that the attendant asks if he wants a wheelchair. What scared me even more is that he said yes. It was a good thing because we were already running late to our appointment because of the freezing rain and traffic but it worried me more to think the treatment wasn’t working. Get him upstairs to 5 North for labs and then over to the Lombardi side for his appointment. His Oncologist and attending doctor come to the conclusion that his symptoms are side effects of the Immunotherapy. They explain that with both immunotherapy meds, they super-charged his immune system and it is working at it should. Their recommendation is to stop the meds to let him recover and we will start back up next week. No issues with doing this and the trial he is in, but don’t want to wait too long. They want him to take tylenol every 6 hours and if he needs to, suppliment a motrin every 3 hours.

We drive home and he is trying to apologize to me for all this and I’m look at him with a look and say…. yeah, like you asked for this, don’t be sorry. We just need to get you better. We pick up Checkers for lunch because he hadn’t eatin at all and now it’s almost one o’clock. Get home and i told him to take a tylenol and I went to work for my two o’clock team meeting. His stubborn ass did not. He went to sleep and so of course he is right back where we started. Grrr……

I continue to nag him, because as his wife, that is my right. He takes tylenol when he feels like it. I do feel bad a little because when he takes it, he starts sweating through his clothes and he hates it, but it’s doing it’s job!!! It’s hard for me to argue with him because I am just as stubborn. Our friends have offered to help with what we need and i love them to death for it. For instance, our tree isn’t even up yet. We normally get a real tree, that is our tradition but my husband hasn’t had the strength so, the tought is to put up the fake one. Its still in the garage on the upper shelf. We have very little put out to celebrate Christmas. To be honest, I’m just not sure the spirit is there.

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