Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 10, 2010

It’s been a long week. No one warned us that the first sign that you are starting to lose your hair would be pain. The top of mom’s head was very painful to the touch and over the past 5 days she has lost a significant amount of hair. Like most people it’s been pretty emotional but we are reminding one another that it will grow back and this is a temporary issue. She has some beautiful hats to wear and around the house she is comfortable enough not to wear anything. As she said a week ago, “all vanity goes aside at times like these”.
Please keep in mind that some of these entries may be a little graphic but it is Mom’s hope that someone out there may be able to benefit from this information. There’s really no way to tell people EVERYthing that will happen to them but information sharing is the most powerful tool we have and that’s our goal.
Tomorrow morning we’ll find out the results of the biopsy done on a small patch of skin on Dad’s back. We’re hoping that we won’t hear the word ‘melanoma’. We’ll get up early in the morning and take him to the doctor by 8:00 and then mom’s radiation later in the day.
We had a GREAT victory today during radiation. Mom was finally able to handle the radiation mask and table without the assistance of medication. We’re all very proud of her. It has been a pretty emotionally difficult journey to date but mom continues to handle it like a pro.
Eating has taken a different turn this week. The taste buds are beginning to go on strike and issuing their demands. It’s been a challenge with some foods to even get the hand to bring it to the mouth. So we keep adjusting the diet. Mom knows that even if she does not like the taste or the smell, as long as she can keep it down, she has to keep eating. We’ve been experimenting with energy and nutrition shakes this week and have found that by freezing large banana chunks, they make great ice cubes in shakes. We had one large frozen banana, a cup of almond milk, three tablespoons of vanilla yogurt and a ¼ cup of frozen blueberries. Great way to get some energy and feels good on the mouth and throat. We’ll be adding some protein powder to give it some more nutritional value.
The PEG Tube is healing GREAT. Mom gets to take a shower this weekend because the PEG tube area has finally healed. We spent 3 – 4 times a day washing the area with a syringe of water and hydrogen peroxide, then using q-tips and gauze, gently keeping the area dry and clean. It’s been a heck of a task but the doctor said it looks fantastic and he’s very pleased and proud of the way we’ve been keeping up with it. We flush the tube with about 100 cc’s of water four times a day to keep it open and flowing correctly. Mom doesn’t feel it going in which is amazing to us. I try not to cut jokes during the process because sometimes things come back up the tube and that can really be an issue for anyone a little on the queasy side of life!
All in all it’s been a good week. Mom spent the weekend sleeping a lot from the chemo but now we have a break for two more weeks before we have another round of chemo. So now it’s just daily trips to the hospital for radiation. Five days a week. Mom and Dad were both up to going by themselves the past two days which has been a nice break for Kurt. It also helps mom stay alert and keep focusing on things like the wonderful job of being co-pilot that she does when Dad drives.
Thanks to everyone for your continued support, prayers and love. It really is the thing that keeps us all going.

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