Treatment Week 2

{Previous post}

Well I meant to update over the weekend but I ended up with a very angry stomach bug! I had a fever and chills so bad, I’m still sore from all the shivering! I’m well today and was able to attend a City Hall meeting to speak on behalf of our neighbors to try and stop the approval of a gas station/mini mart/ car wash with a liquor licence being built within 30 feet from their property line. We lost, but it was cool to see our neighborhood pull together.  Some of these folks have lived here since the 60’s, along side my grandparents, whose house we have owned the last 14 years.  After I finish this, I get to work on some FAFSA paperwork for Robby and Michelle. Fun times. 😉

Well that’s not what you’re here for so I’ll get on with it. 🙂

Week two is done! That’s 10 radiations and 3 Chemos!

Chemo – Well, good news and bad. The good news is that he got the rash that they say indicates the medicine is working. The bad news… he got the rash really bad! They have 4 grades of rash. Grade 4 is when it starts to get infected, and his is a high grade 3. It covers his face, scalp, entire torso and hands.

For those like me who want to know more…
The technical explanation:
                              Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a receptor found on both
normal and tumor cells that is important for cell growth. ERBITUX is a
type of drug, called an EGFR inhibitor, used to treat cancer by blocking the
activity of EGFR. Blocking EGFR may keep cancer cells from growing.
(www.erbitux.com)
                             ** I advise you to NOT read that site, as it gives numbers that will freak
you out unnecessarily. For real. Don’t. I just wanted to give credit for
the information quote.

My translation:   So, basically, all skin, including his tumor, has these receptors that the medicine attaches to and prevents from growing. Well, some people have fewer receptors than others. So for example, in an inch of skin, you might have three receptors, but Carlos has nine.  His skin is going to react three times as much as yours to this medicine.

> {prayer request} > So while the rash means it’s working, they can’t take the risk of his rash getting to the point of infection. They started him on antibiotics and said if the rash is any worse than it was Friday, he will have to stop chemo until it clears up. We will find out Tuesday if he’ll get that round of chemo or not. Praise the Lord it doesn’t hurt or itch! Overall his skin is very dry and by morning large flakes of skin come off. He’s part reptile now lol.  The very dry skin has that tight, dry feeling and is irritating, but lotion helps and he’s finally found one that works well enough

The antibiotic is not gentle on his stomach, but it’s tolerable. Oddly,  for some reason it totally knocks him out and he sleeps several hours after each dose.

Radiation:
Ten out of 35 rounds completed! Earlier in the week he began to have the metallic taste. It wasn’t too bad. We found that swishing his mouth with a little water and a drop or two of lemon essential oil helped a lot! A few days after that, Robby made some chicken nuggets and those didn’t go too well. Carlos nearly gagged on the taste. As the days have gone on, more and more things taste gross. Not a metallic taste, much worse. Some things, like bacon and other mild and salty foods just have no taste. Then there’s things like sloppy joes (sorry Cari) and chicken soup (sorry Casey) that he can hardly force one bite down. (trust me, it was all yummy to the rest of us!!) Some fruits like fresh papaya, peaches (canned, but not fresh, strangely) and bananas, still taste tolerable. Anything acidic is a big gagging no.

He has started to get some sores in his mouth. Not sure if those are from radiation or the rash. They are tender, but not horrible yet.

I’ve noticed his voice is changing so that’s another sign that the tumor is changing/shrinking.

He’s been in good spirits until this taste thing showed up. He is very frustrated. Those moments you just reach up in the cabinet to grab a handful of a treat to nibble on… no more. I heard him from the other room regret doing that with something the other day.

We’re into week 3, and I’ll update next weekend, with occasional posts on Facebook as things go.

You guys. I can’t even tell you how good God has been with scheduling! Everything that has had to happen has worked out around Stacey’s schedule and someone being able to care for her! It’s a miracle! Even when her school year ends later this month and he’ll have two weeks of treatments left, CJ has a new job at Lockheed and goes in at 3 pm so he can hang with Stacey while we go to treatments! God is good all the time.

Quick video of his radiation process. Sorry for the end, I thought I’d stopped recording. I’m too tired to edit right now. 🙂

The chemo rash… 32662648_10214136399697657_1288761802531799040_n
32724779_10214136397017590_1545559864254660608_n

 

4 thoughts on “Treatment Week 2”

  1. oh man! That is all so intense! It is so amazing to watch and read about. Those of us that have blessed to not have to deal with anything like this appreciate the knowledge you are sharing with us. We are continually praying for you all! Much love to you!!!

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  2. Someone asked you if he got to keep the mask/cocoon after radiation is complete…albert got to keep his and it’s on his home office wall next to the shirt they gave him that says, “anyone who says winning isn’t everything, hasn’t fought cancer.” You all certainly understand that already with that very active rash…albert didn’t get it nearly that bad, it was more on his back in semi circle abut 6″ down from his neck, and on his neck, also on the back of his head, which was the only place he lost hair…Praise God, there treatment doesn’t go on forever…Oh, and…albert lost right at 60 lbs…He likes the way it feels on him and is going to try to keep it off…Prayers and love go out for each one of you…

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