Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Updating all around.

1. Due to annoying conflicts, illness, weather, etc. I have thus far only been to ONE!!! karate class in all of January. This is clearly not on. I need to hit things more. Also my Chatanyara no Sai desperately needs more practice to iron out those awkward "What am I supposed to do next? Oh, right." pauses in the middle. I really, really want to learn Urashi Bo, but can't (and shouldn't), until Chatanyara is well settled.

2. Dad W. results - extremely mixed. He's tolerating the chemo and radiation exceptionally well, with virtually no side effects - mild anemia (just started treatment), and some nausea immediately post-chemo and that's it. OTOH, his habit of staying well within his comfort zone physically is coming back to bite him big-time. He won't walk or exercise unless I both drill sergeant him into it and then stay right beside him the whole time (and even then not hard or far), and rarely bothers to eat unless I make it up and plonk it in front of him (for a man with a week's supply of convenience food in his bedroom, this strikes me as weird). As a consequence he's steadily losing both weight and muscle mass, and a lot of physical capability as well. I'm trying to be as patient about this as I can, but it makes me want to shake him. He knows that he needs to move more (every doctor he has has said so multiple times), he knows he needs to eat - but he keeps waiting for me to tell him what to do every time.

Aaargh!! I'm willing to fight this cancer with him every step of the way, but I can't fight it for him, and that's what he seems to want me to do.

3. We had a lovely bout of stomach virus run through the whole family last week. Kids and Rob over the weekend (that would be weekend before last), Dad W. mid-week, and then me right after Rob left the country - naturally. Then I caught something else intestinal again over the weekend. Had to cancel out on church (which I felt guilty as heck about, but I didn't think the service would be enhanced by having the organist sprint madly for the bathroom in mid-ceremony). By Sunday afternoon, I was feeling better, but had lost 4 and a half pounds from Saturday evening. So far nobody else seems to have caught my second whatsit. Cross your fingers.

As a side note - grocery shopping on Sunday certainly produced a healthier cart than usual. Snack foods and the like had absolutely no temptation for me - the bedding section on the other hand... Ah the joys of being the only able-bodied adult in the house.

4. Aaron is continuing his run of straight A report cards. He may be enjoying this a little bit too much, as it's the first time in his life he's had better grades than his brother. Robbie's grades are improving (he got his first middle school A, in band, this time around), but he's still having to work hard at remembering to do and turn in all the work middle school expects of him. His test grades remain straight A's, balanced out by intermittent zeroes for homework.

5. Dad W. is finally inching towards letting Rascal go. I suspect it will be a while yet, but he at least had me get information from the vet about cremation/burial services and costs. If he doesn't do something soon, though, he won't get the choice, as Rascal has dropped something like a third of his body weight in the last two months, even though he's eating like a pig. He's starvingly hungry all the time (he's bitten me twice snapping for treats I'm handing him), but losing weight steadily despite being fed. So there's likely something else wrong besides the known list. (Blind, deaf, arthritic, heart murmur, paralyzed) It just kills me to see this skeleton covered in black fur dragging around the house, knowing he needs to be put down, and I can't do it because I'm not his owner.

And that's the state of things since my last post. Rob is off on another continent for the next three weeks. He'll be back the day before Dad W. starts his next round of chemo.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


We've survived Dad W's first chemo procedure. Actually, he tolerated the procedure really, really well, without any of the pain and nausea we were told to expect. The side effects from the chemo itself have just started cropping up today (48 hours later), and thus far aren't too horrible - some abdominal pain, some nausea - both controllable with medication - and a lot of fatigue.

In another eight days we do the same thing again (1-day admit for a procedure, then home) only this time the microspheres will be radioactive instead of impregnated with chemotherapy drugs.

Yesterday, naturally, the hospital released Dad W at exactly the wrong moment for our schedules. I had Dad-sitting duties until 2, when I was supposed to leave to go to my annual gyne visit, and then pick up the boys. If he was released before 2, then I would take him home. If he was released after 2, then Rob would get off work early and come get him ASAP - which would be 3:30, approximately. Well, they told me at 1 that they were releasing Dad W. By the time they got the paperwork processed, walked us through the release orders, got him dressed and all his stuff together, and got the wheelchair transport, it was 2:05 - and instead of going straight to my appointment, I had to go home and get him settled first. I showed up 15 minutes late, and with an absolutely sky-high blood pressure - 185/110. My blood-pressure occasionally runs the high side of normal, but nothing like this. But half an hour later it had only dropped to 172/105, still waaay too high. So now I'm under instructions to take my BP daily for the next week and go see my PCP with the results (had an appointment with her before I left the building).

Why do I feel like my BP would have been better if I had been able to make karate class on Tuesday night? But that was the procedure day, and it just wasn't happening. And tonight class is cancelled because of snow. Only two classes missed so far, and I'm already feeling a bit bereft. And I'm likely to miss Thursday of next week because of that procedure. Glah - I need to go hit stuff! This no yoga, no karate thing that's been happening for the last month is just not on.

In good news, Sensei is supposed to be starting back at work in about 2 weeks. His knee is apparently healing well from his surgery. Missing this much work has been a big concern for him, so I'm glad he's getting back to it.