We’re in the 4th Quarter
And while the Seahawks had an ugly fourth quarter, we are not! Mike had his surgery to get the feeding tube in on Monday, and we got out of the hospital yesterday. He did just fine, and with 24 hours of hydration, he finally had enough energy to get annoyed at the ridiculously poor efficiency at the hospital. That’s how I knew he was feeling better!
The feeding tube is in and that is a relief. This afternoon we meet with the nutritionist to start feeding him through the tube. That means he will gradually increase his nutritional count to the point where he stops losing weight. Then, he can continue to try to eat and drink small things in addition, which will eventually help him gain back some weight. Also, we were able to build a good medication schedule so he stays on everything regularly before he feels bad. AND we found our miracle – a pill crusher! What a simple thing, but no one ever brought it up and in my total frustration that he couldn’t swallow the pills, I started using an ice cream scooper (thank you Millers!) and crushed the pills to put them in a little vitamin water, and voila!, he was able to get the pills down easily. I don’t know why any of our caretakers didn’t mention this – seems a natural for a throat cancer patient. Such a simple thing to alleviate so much pain! Once I mentioned that I had been crushing the pills, one of the nurses mentioned that she had a pill crusher and we have been using it every since. Seriously? Such a small thing that should be on the “must have” list!
After today, we only have 3 more radiation treatments. In theory, we are all done with the chemo. People have been asking “what happens after that?”. Great question. We have been asking as well. It will take about 2 weeks after treatment is complete before Mike starts to feel improvement. He will still feel like he is in treatment for that 2 weeks. BUT, no getting up early to do the treatments, so maybe some rest and some nutrition and he will feel a bit better right away. After the first 2 weeks, he will gradually begin to feel better. It is a long process, and he really will need to fight the cancer still. He will still need good nutrition and exercise. We will start going for walks again to get him outside and moving. If you are making something savory and delicious for your family, and you want to make a little extra for Mike, I know he will appreciate it after the 21st of October. He still won’t be eating full meals, so just little things are great!
All in all, this has been a better week for Mike than last week, and that is encouraging! Again, we have our angels who are helping: flowers from Haley, unbelievable pumpkin bread from Sue, delicious shepherds pie PLUS a Halloween pumpkin and a martini from Curt and Candy, chocolates from Dobby, plus countless notes, cards, emails, texts. We are very grateful for our friendships and family. Even though Mike isn’t big on organized religion, we really appreciate everyone praying for Mike and thinking about us. We are strong because we have a wealth of love surrounding us!
Have a great week and cherish every day (even the rainy ones!).