Feed your FAITH and your fears will starve .

Friday, August 26, 2011

Round 16

We just finished getting all the drugs for Round 16.  I can't believe we have done this sixteen times.  The last five rounds are all starting to blur together. It is getting harder and harder to remember all the details, and side effects of the different drugs.  I am so glad I have kept this blog!  I find myself going back to different rounds to see how the drugs treated him so I know what to expect and remember the little tricks we learned to combat the side effects.

It is amazing to me to see the difference in Trent from day to day.  For example:

This picture was taken Tuesday. 

Trent decided he needed eyebrows so he grabbed my eyeliner and fixed himself up right. He didn't say anything about it and called all the kids in for a chat. One by one they noticed his eyebrows and started giggling. Pretty funny.

Wednesday, day 1 of chemo, Trent's legs were pretty puffy so they gave him Lasix.  Thank goodness we were seated right next to the bathroom because he was in there every few minutes.  One time he came back around the corner in this silly grandma wig.  Everyone in the infusion room got a pretty good laugh and Cyd and Brent came running to get a picture with him.  Cyd grabbed this weirdo   african american wig with red highlights.  Quite a trio!

As we were leaving that day Trent found this strip of hair, not really even a wig.  We couldn't decide if it was a comb-over or a mohawk.  Trent chose the mohawk. :)

Out of nowhere Brent appeared-ready for another picture!  We all had a pretty good laugh about that!

Thursday brought more Lasix and a visit from Trisha and Dave.  Trent was still doing pretty good and we enjoyed laughing with them while Trent got poisoned. 

By Friday the swelling had still not gone down so Trent got Lasix again.  He will continue on Lasix for one week at home.  When we left the hospital Trent was still doing pretty good but by the time we got home he looked like this.

This isn't the worst.  As soon as Trent gets the Neulasta shot tomorrow he will go downhill pretty fast.  We are gearing up for an awful week, hopefully not longer than that! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Oh What a Difference a Day Makes!

Saturday night as I closed my eyes to sleep the tears kept slipping out.  I couldn't stop them and I didn't have the energy to try so I let my pillow get all soggy and wet.  I was so sick and tired of Trent being sick and tired!  Heavenly Father must have known that Trent and I both had really had it.  The next morning Trent seemed a little better, a little iffy, but better.  I went to church and Trent made it for Sacrament meeting.  By the time we were done with church Trent was much better.  Thank goodness for Tender Mercies!  He said, "I'm back, baby, I'm back!"  That has become our own little "George Castanza" joke.  Trent really is back!  We are going to play as hard as we can for the next week or so until we have to start it all again.  We can't let one moment of feeling good slip by, wasted, when we know there are so many crappy moments to come. 

To see the sparkle in Trent's eyes again is like a magic eraser that makes all the difficult times melt away.  When he is really sick I can feel myself retreat from him and the situation.  I know I shouldn't but it is so hard to watch and it is "safer" for me to act like I am not affected by it.  I almost become mechanical.  I go into "Nurse" mode and kinda of turn off the "Wife" part.  I figure I should be able to fix it all with his drugs-(only for him, not me ;)! )  It is frustrating when it doesn't work like that.  So, when the sparkle returns, that is my drug! 

The tender mercies in our lives are the things that get us through, small reminders that Heavenly Father IS mindful of me and my wet pillow. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Round 15 is NOT so Great!

Round 15 has beaten Trent up pretty good.  He has been in bed since about Friday.  He did get up for church but probably shouldn't have.  He has had nausea, diarrhea, unbearable pain, mouthsores, anger, night sweats, sleeplessness, fatigue, horrible dreams, etc.  He has really gone the rounds with this one.  Right now we are waiting to hear if he will be put on IV fluids tonight.  I don't think either one of us would mind if he was.  He can hardly eat because his mouth is full of sores and nothing sounds good to him.  He has been on Diflucan for a couple of days now to combat the mouthsores.

The thought of possibly four more rounds is awful.  We are both getting very tired of this whole mess. However, we are hanging on, by a thread, but hanging on nonetheless.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Round Fifteen-Ugh

Yesterday Trent started round 15.  It also happened to be our 16th anniversary.  This is the second anniversary we have "celebrated" at the Huntsman.  Not something I would like to make a habit of.  We each got a really cool gift.  Trent got $$$$ worth of poison chemo, and I got Invisalign.  How romantic, I know. 

When we were just about to start the chemo they informed us that there is a nationwide shortage of Doxrubicin, which is one of the drugs Trent is on.  In its place, they gave him Epirubicin.  It is a similar drug in the same drug family but is not commonly used here at Huntsman.  Because Trent does not have a tumor in his brain they decided Epirubicin was a good substitute because it does not cross the brain barrier as Doxrubicin does.  It also takes only 1/2  hour to get instead of three hours.  BONUS!  I, of course, needed all the details and asked for a drug fact sheet on Epirubicin.  After I read it I gave it to Trent while I talked to the nurse about it.  Trent interrupted us and said, "Hey!  We're good!  It says here that Epirubicin kills cancer cells so no worries!"  Very funny, Trent...I still need all the details!

While I was gone getting my teeth done, Trent talked to Dr. Gouw about the treatment plan.  It changes every time we are here!  Now we are for sure doing another round of chemo after this (Round 16) and then a scan.  If the tumor is responding then we could do as many as three more rounds before surgery.  Trent told me that when we changed chemo the last time the number 17 popped into his head.  So maybe that will be the lucky number for rounds of chemo.  Who knows.  The plan will probably change with the next round of chemo. 

Lately I am feeling like I would just really like to be done with this already.  It has been a very long time and I am ready to move on.  In many ways our lives are on hold, but our children keep growing.  We have no house, no job, and no certain future.  By the time we have those things our kids will be moving out of the house.  I have really been praying for patience to endure this trial.  Then today on the way to Jonathan's post-op appointment I was listening to a talk on CD by S. Michael Wilcox called "The Fourth Watch".  The whole jist of the talk is that our God is a Fourth Watch God.  He doesn't race to the rescue with the answer we want the very first time we ask.  He comes in the fourth watch, after we have been humbled and have endured, and have learned from whatever it is we are going through.  The exception, of course, is in forgiveness.  In that instance He is a first watch God, willing to forgive the second we ask for it, however many times that is.

In part of his talk, Bro. Wilcox is recounting the story of the Brother of Jared and the eight barges he built under direction from the Lord.  (Book of Mormon, Ether 2) The vessels were built "tight like a dish" so no water or wind could get in them as they crossed the stormy sea.  There is more to the story but the part that hit me like a ton of bricks was the fact that the Lord helped the brother of Jared prepare the vessels tight like a dish to withstand the storms that would surely come.  The Lord could have simply stilled the storms, but instead He prepared the vessels to withstand the storm.  Bro. Wilcox goes on to say that when it seems we are in the fourth watch and the Lord still has not come, it is because He has prepared us beforehand and made our vessels tight like a dish to withstand the storms in our lives.  If we had not been prepared, he would surely have stilled the storm in the first watch. 

I have listened to this talk several times and gained different things from it each time, but this time I drove down the road struggling to see through my tears wondering how tight is our vessel?  It must be pretty tight because it seems like we are in the sixth or seventh watch by now.  I can honestly say I KNOW we were prepared for this trial.  I can look back at our lives and understand why certain things happened to us at certain times.  It was to prepare us for cancer.  I don't even dare imagine what cancer is preparing us for.  Could there be something worse waiting for us?  Or is our suffering meant to give us more compassion for others and to prepare us to be instruments in the Lord's hands?  I certainly hope it is the latter!