Last week Mathew found out that Dr. Burnell wants him to do a total of six chemo cycles with the Cyclophosphamide/Topotecan treatment. He was not happy. Initially we heard maybe four cycles if Mathew could tolerate the drugs but since he is coping very well then the aim is the maximum of six cycles.
I think Mathew even refused to talk to the Oncologist after that! Dr. Burnell is pleased the treatment is keeping the four lung nodules from growing. They stayed the same size, so while not shrinking… not getting any bigger either. The intention is for another CT scan to take place once the sixth cycle is done.
Mathew was supposed to start the fourth cycle this week but once again his platelets are much too low to go. He ended up having two platelet transfusions this time; the first when his platelet count was 15 and the second four days later when the count dropped to eight. That made everyone nervous as it was too low. Mathew did have two nosebleeds that didn’t want to quit (slow ooze) however they eventually did which was a relief because the remedy to stop a nosebleed is to pack the nostril involved. Shoving a lot of packing up the nose didn’t sound pleasant to anyone so we were relieved when the bleeding stopped on its own.
Mathew was happy to hear chemo was delayed until next week. His hemoglobin drops to a point of almost needing a transfusion but not quite. His lips lose their colour and become almost white. The low count wipes him out and makes him feel like he is going to pass out.
Overall Mathew hasn’t bounced back this cycle. He still lacks energy and hasn’t much interest in leaving the house. Those new PlayStation and Nintendo DS games to play (courtesy of Christmas) and his iPad might tempt him to stay in right now. His sleep cycle is erratic again; some days just naps and other days out for hours.
Our dog’s passing hit Mathew hard yesterday. He doesn’t react like you or I would ~ in fact you wouldn’t know it registered with him at all. It took many years to recognize that such sad events do affect Mathew and only recently can he verbalize what is going on internally. Yesterday he told me he was sad, very sad. He said he didn’t know how to show it on the outside but inside he was crying. He decided the best way for us to cope was for him and I to hang out together and take comfort in watching familiar tv shows. This is important for him to keep to a routine and while it appears he is going about life in his normal way I know that underneath it all he is working his way through the sorrow and pain.
Mathew is also sleeping more right now because the chemo was delayed. He dreads it so much he will fight sleep tooth and nail the weekend before a treatment is to start. He wants to enjoy every second he can and figures the chemo will stay in the future if he stays awake. He relaxes when everything is moved back and of course when that happens it is lights out for him!
Kristen skypes Mathew every week or two and he gets such a kick out of it. I pop in to Mathew’s room during “the skype” to throw out a hi and to see her. It is a great way to communicate and Mathew will chat on and on about…stuff. I don’t hang around to listen in but knowing him it is probably about tv shows, movies, games and what Kristen is up to.
Kristen is working now at a bridal store/warehouse. She fills us in on the details as the days go by; this is her first retail type job and it is interesting to see how she will like it as time goes by. I did retail for a long time and it isn’t something I’d rush out to do again. It can be a thankless job; low pay, hours that severely curtail a social life and then the aspect of dealing with customers. Yeah…customers….(shudder)
The hour is late and it is time for me to sleep. Mathew fell asleep before midnight and I should be snoring soundly in my bed. Months of sitting up with him plus taking our senior canines outside for a bathroom break or two broke my regular sleep pattern. There is no need to rush out into the cold night for an urgent doggy matter now but they trained me well. The world is quiet and peaceful at 2 am and a part of me thinks a quick step outside would be nice right about now.
Then my sensible side slaps me back to sanity and I realize I must hurry to rest before another day starts.
Good night all.