More Rough Times
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Are you sick of reading about my miseries yet? This is the place where I can unload my troubles. Even if nobody reads it, somehow it is cathartic for me to write about it. I do so appreciate all the supportive and helpful comments from those of you who stick by me. Thanks Spark Friends!
Monday Du started radiation treatments. We will go daily (Mon-Fri) for four or five weeks. The radiation is two-fold. First, it is to shrink the prostate, which will hopefully help Du get rid of the nephrostomy tube and bag, and it will also slow the cancer's growth, and secondly, they have targeted the spots of cancer in his hips, and will radiate those to ease his pain. The radiology oncologist felt it was smart to do the treatment for both purposes since he is getting the radiation to shrink the prostate anyway. Duane's pain isn't bad, but then as this doctor pointed out, "You're probably feeling a lot more pain than you express." Duane admitted to that. It is nice to have a doctor talk to us that way, he also addressed pain management medications and told us there are lots available, stronger ones than Du is currently taking, and he was willing to write a scrip for us if we wanted. Right now Du is getting the smallest dose of hydrocodone available from the general practice physician, and he takes it rarely. But that physician has promised us (after some begging from me) that all we need to do is call his office and they will write a new scrip when Du needs it, so hopefully he no longer feels a need to hoard his pain pills. I know he felt he shouldn't take them because he feared not having any available when and if the pain became really bad. Everytime he takes them he feels so much better. The Radiology Oncologist even suggested he take pain pills on a regular basis, but so far Du is not doing that, preferring to only take a couple when he feels particularly bad. As I have often said, Du is the strongest man I know.
Monday night about midnight (Tue. morning) Duane started vomiting. He vomited at least once an hour until about 8:00 the next morning. It was an awful night, both of us worried that the radiation was causing his nausea, and that he would be unable to continue with it. As soon as the doctor's office was open at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, I called them. I actually got to speak to the doctor. I really like this radiology oncologist--it is the only medical office I have ever called where I was actually able to speak to the doctor on the phone, immediately! He assured me the nausea and vomiting were unrelated to the radiation. Then I went on-line and saw that nausea is a rare side-effect when the small intestine is radiated, but that is not the case for Du, he is being radiated below that area. The doctor told me Du should come in for his radiation appt. Tue. at 3:30, which we did. No nausea or vomiting since.....so that is good.
How weird is it that Du caught a stomach virus the same day he started radiation? I said if there is bad luck to be had, we will get it. We didn't get to go to Grandson Duncan's 9th birthday party Tuesday evening, and I missed that, (I LOVE the grandkid's birthday parties!), but we did stop by with his gift on our way home from radiation Tue. afternoon, and he called last night to thank us. What a sweetheart that boy is. Duncan said he understood that we couldn't make it to his party, and then he asked how Grandpa was doing. I told him he was better, and then Duncan said, "I'm praying for him." Made me cry. Still does. Love that kid!!!
Duane says that today he feels better than he has in a while. I doubt if the radiation is working on the pain just yet. We have been told that sometimes it takes a few weeks before the effects are noticeable, and even several weeks after treatment has ended, improvement is still occurring. But Du says he is walking better, standing taller and his stomach is slowly improving. That is GOOD news! He only missed one day of work. Once again proving--he is the strongest man I know!!!
Last night on our way home from radiation, I suggested we stop at a restaurant downtown and play some Interactive Buzztime Trivia if he felt up to it. He agreed. For probably close to ten years we went to a local tavern/restaurant two or three times a week and would spend the evening playing trivia. We are both trivia nuts, I have watched the TV show Jeopardy since the Art Fleming days back in the 1960's, and still watch it every single day even though Alex Trebek annoys me horribly. He is such an arrogant jerk to the contestants. But I still like the game, which hasn't changed much in the last 50 years. So when we discovered this interactive trivia game played at various restaurants around Lincoln, we were hooked. About eight years ago, we quit playing however. I guess we just burned out on it. The downtown area of Lincoln has recently been redeveloped around a new sports arena built down there and there are tons of new restaurants. One of them has our trivia game and we have played a few games while we are there for lunch. We both agreed it was great fun once again last night, and I was glad to go out and have some fun, after a hard couple of weeks. Duane agreed, it was FUN.
Maybe we are due for some good times again. I sure hope so!