Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another Round for the Birthday Boy!

Let's have another round for the birthday boy!

Used to be we'd say that for the weekend at a local dive bar..  not quite the same.  The 25th is Tommy's birthday - we'll be celebrating it with lab work and gearing up for chemo on Tuesday. (We are having a family celebration on the weekend too.. so there will be some fun).

I've been in terrible head space to write anything lately, but figured it was time for me to give it another go anyway.  Last treatment was postponed by a couple of days, doc said it was because of difficulty getting one of the drugs.  I think it was fate (and partly sneaky doctor).

There was a young kid -- 22 -- there for his first session, with worried Momma.  As the day wore on I finally had a chance to talk to worried Momma, and Tommy had a chance to talk to The Kid.  Come to find out, same type of cancer, same treatments, and we should be on the same schedule as them, I heard they were slated to come back next week as well.  It was good to have the fellowship with worried Momma, I hope I was able to ease some of her concerns and give her some advice that helped after his first treatment.

Doc came in late in the day and said he had hoped we'd have a chance to talk to one another - of course he couldn't tell either one of us what was going on with the other, but was hoping...  I had to laugh at that.  

This will be the third treatment out of the initial six that are planned -  half way through!  But it's starting to show on him now.  He's having a hard time sleeping and getting comfortable, but I did notice the lumps in his abdomen are gone to barely noticeable now, so it's working! The food fight is continuing but lessening; he's getting at least one good meal in a day and snacking through the night.  While he's lost a little bit of weight, his clothes are still fitting.  He's agreed that taking one of the nausea meds helps if he takes it before a meal. Smells are setting him off at times, we've learned that fish for dinner might sound good, but the smell is a no-no.  The mouth sores are still an issue, which makes soft food a must while they heal.  Soups are good,  even if it is 100+ outside here. At least I can pack a lot of veggies and nutrition into a soup.  I think he's had a touch of a chest cold the last week or so.  A slight fever at times is normal, so hard to say what is from the cough and what is from the chemo.  But he's not really felt like venturing out of the house as much as he was for awhile.  I suppose at least that keeps the exposure to the germs to a minimum.

Depression.  That has been the going word around the house for the last few weeks.  For him, for me, for my mom.  I know it's common --there's a lot of fear and anger with cancer.  But it's still not something to be taken lightly.  Add in the unsettled patterns for sleep and eating and generalized chaos that comes, it can get quite overwhelming at times. Best I know to do is  JUST.KEEP.DOING.  I won't lie -  there were about 3 days I did nothing but lay in bed and cry.  I realized, that wasn't helping me, and that certainly wasn't helping him.  That being said... there might be some that can't "snap themselves" out of the depression  -- I'm still depressed, I'm just forcing myself to, at the very least, go through the motions of the day.   If YOU or someone you know is facing depression-- no matter that cause, there are several groups that can help. 

For families of those with cancer, there are support groups available. American Cancer Society has several.  If your depression is not cancer related the Anxiety and Depression Association of America has support groups by TYPE of anxiety or depression.

That being said.... if you are EVER thinking of just ending it all. First of... please don't.  Consider what your loved ones will go through first. (If you're saying I have no loved ones, Bullshit, I love you, even if I don't *know* you, you are loved).  Second please call the suicide prevention lifeline
1-800-273-8255.  Depression is NOT weakness - it is a physical, chemical imbalance in the brain.  It is an illness just as much as a cold, or flu, or cancer.

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