Chad is a full week out from his first day of chemotherapy and we are pleased to report that he is doing very well.
Chad and I had no idea what was going to happen last week. We have both been very fortunate to have made it 40+ years in this life without closely experiencing chemotherapy. We've known relatives and friends who have battled cancer but were too young to remember or too far removed to see the day to day happenings that go with this disease, so this whole experience has been brand new. We didn't know what to expect so we expected the unexpected. I didn't even know what palliative care meant until last week. So, I read like a woman possessed and we prepared ourselves and our home for every possible scenario that I stumbled upon while researching. I was never happier to not need so many things. We understand that symptoms increase over time and aren't under the assumption that it will always be like this but we are thankful that at least for last week, the anticipation was scarier than the actual events.
Once the actual treatment started on Monday it was just a few hours before we were out of there to finish the rest at home. The take-home pump is going to take some getting used to, it's unlike anything we've dealt with before but we'll adjust. With very shaky hands and under the watchful eye of a nurse, I was able to successfully disconnect the pump and flush Chad's port on Wednesday. In order for us to be able to travel I'll need to be able to do that every time so that we don't have to go back to the hospital and have it done. I was scared to death that I was going to hurt him but it went well and I'll get more comfortable the more that I do it.
Nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite were the main struggles for Chad last week but he has started to rebound. He was able to pop into work Friday and Saturday for bit and had a much improved appetite yesterday. We are still easing Chad into solid foods so I was very pleased that he wanted to eat. He's had a variety of pasta dishes, soft meats like meatballs, crab and grilled chicken, lots of cheesy potatoes and his favorite-tiramisu. He hasn't had any issues with anything that he's tried to eat so far but has quickly learned that he needs to have much smaller portions than he used to.
Chad's oncologist strongly encouraged us to travel, visit with family and friends, go on adventures and do the things that make us happy and we like that idea. We are hoping to see a lot of you, go to a lot of places and make a lot of memories. You all know that Chad has a very positive attitude and has handled everything thrown at him with a smile. Most of his response is just him, it's who he is as a person, but some of it has to do with the good vibes around him. Getting out into the world with the people that he loves will make it even easier for him to stay positive.
I know that a lot of you saw the photos from the hockey game last Sunday on social media but I wanted to share that experience here as well. Chad is a great guy and the most loyal friend, that's no secret. Chad is also a family man, an amazing husband and parent, he's a great son, nephew, cousin, uncle and brother-in-law. Chad has a wonderful sister, Holly, who has shown him daily support and has been helpful in so many ways. I know that sharing that once in a lifetime experience with Holly and James was very special to Chad. I am positive that he carried those feelings of love and excitement into his treatment the next morning and that helped him smile through it. He wanted to do something fun with some of his favorite people before his chemo started and boy did he get his wish!
Thank you all for your continued support and for keeping my guy smiling! Love you all!