Thursday: July 25, 2019:
Well, we made it through the first week… It wasn’t all that pretty…
Infusion Day was Thursday, July 18th, and that day went ok. The next two days were not that bad. Keeping up with the giant fanny-pack containing the chemo pump was a pain, but other than that, it wasn’t horrible. Fred took his Zofran (anti-nausea pills) as instructed and he didn’t even get nauseous. The worst part seemed to be not being able to shower. Oh, and the fact that one of the side effects to the chemo drugs is a severe sensitivity to cold. Fred tried to ignore that one and eat a bowl of ice cream anyhow. But that didn’t work out so well. So no ice cream after dinner anymore. 😭👎 Some folks get the sensitivity so badly they can’t even open the refrigerator. So at least Fred is not that bad.
I was afraid that my cold hands and feet would make him cringe every night when I crawled into bed. But that hasn’t happened yet, thankfully! Small victories!!🥳
Things started to get unpleasant on the evening of day three, after we returned home from getting the pump removed. Fred started experiencing the tingly-numbness of neuropathy in his toes. That’s another one of the side effects from the chemo drugs. He was extremely restless that night also and barely got any sleep.
That night symbolically began the rolling of the snowball down the hill – Fred hasn’t been very well ever since.
His appetite is all but gone. His cough is intense and violent. And his GI issues have compounded into spasms and sweaty cramping sessions that contort his face into a scary Halloween mask. Even though he keeps telling me the pain is, “Only a four,” on the 0-10 pain scale. I’m not blind.
The Oakes men take pride in their ability to endure extreme unpleasantness, like pain, heat, stress, and chaos. Fred used to call them, “Manly Feats of Strength.” I call it stupid and unnecessary, and an easy way to end up in the ER.
I have been hounding him all week to go back to the doctor and he finally gave in today (Thurs, July 25). His doctor is ordering another abdominal CT scan to see if he has a bowel obstruction and has requested a take home oxygen supply. I have my fingers crossed these are approved quickly by the insurance company because Fred is so miserable.
I am in awe everyday at how much strength Fred has to keep going and smile everyday. I honestly don’t know how he does it. But he still keeps smiling and making jokes and being his positive self. He seems to have an endless well of grace to draw from. He inspires me everyday.
I tried to make a special dinner for us yesterday, for some good, comfy nostalgia vibes to make him feel better. I had been dreaming about Fred’s famous turkey meatloaf all week and I thought it would easy for Fred to digest. But looking back, it was cursed meatloaf from the start.
I went to make it Tuesday night and dropped a jar of sun-dried tomatoes on the kitchen floor. It shattered everywhere! And covered the kitchen in olive oil and tomato goo! I swept and vacuumed and Swiffer’d and I’m still finding little sticky reminders of that fun moment.
I gave up on the meatloaf that night. I didn’t want to press my luck. I started early the next evening and eagerly prepped the ingredients (after I went to the store to buy more tomatoes). I got it all prepped and then Fred came in and helped me put it all together. (I’m not a big fan of touching raw meat. It activates my germ phobias and makes me very anxious). Fred volunteered to mix it up for me 😁👍
However the meatloaf curse struck again. I realized too late that I had confused the tablespoon (TBSP) with the teaspoon (TSP) when it came to the salt. I even said to myself, “Wow, that looks like a lot of salt.” But I dumped it in anyhow. I was trying to be so careful too because I know I suck at cooking.
Fred still ate the meatloaf and told me how delicious it was. I know he absolutely loves me if he will eat my cooking 😍❤️ We both have been thirsty all day today and he keeps joking about the salt. His positive outlook: He keeps thinking about how much I love him that I am willing to cook for him. My negative outlook: I keep dwelling on the fact that I ruined the meatloaf. We are truly yin and yang ☯️