Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey


Dave is experiencing some different reactions to chemo this round, mainly in the form of strong, persistent hiccups. While in the past he has had some reflux/hiccup action, this time it is different. I’m talking big, long bouts of hiccups — the kind that sound like they hurt. The kind that keep a poor guy up all night.

I’m not sure if this is related to the new delivery system of the anti-nausea drugs or just an odd coincidence. Regardless, it proves that cancer tries to mess with you anyway it can, even when it is on its way out. If I had more time, I’d liken it to the desperation tactics of a bully. But knowing I need to get the kids up for school, I’ll let you draft that comparison paragraph. You get the picture, right?

I’m not sure if any homeopathic or homemade pathetic tricks will get these seismic spasms to cease, but I’ll entertain any suggestions all the same. We have Prilosec in the medicinal rotation but for all I know, it’s just dryer lint in a gelatin capsule. (grumble grumble grumble) ~ Jacqui

January 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Rounding Third and Heading Home

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing — for I have. It’s just that at the 11th hour I elected not to post some of my thoughts. Remember, I said this space would be therapeutic as much as informative. I’ve needed my own writing therapy I guess.

But good things have been happening, and that is what is most important. I left off with the awesome news we got three weeks ago at Chemo Stop #4. Dave had a CT scan days prior and learned that the big nasty tumor (we’ve named ‘Roger’) had shrunk by around 66%. That’s a lot of shrink for a tumor that size. Because of this response, we’re hoping that our days at the Chemo Lounge are numbered. In a few hours we’ll be on our way for treatment #5. Let’s all project some good energy that this is Dave’s second to last round and that he can move onto radiation. Without a port, chemo hasn’t been easy and there aren’t too many veins left that “want to play.” Can you blame them?

What has been wonderful to see is the flip of good days versus bad days in our three-week block in between treatments. We can honestly say Dave is experiencing more good, up time than bad. During this last jaunt he was able to be on location for a weekend shoot and attend several meetings on campus. His term off is coming to an end and he’s looking forward to resuming his post, albeit in modified fashion. For those of you who know him as ‘Stormy’ you know it’s hard to keep him down. From what we gather, his students are also looking forward to seeing him in the halls again. Their encouragement throughout all of this has been priceless.

We also got some news regarding Brandon. The initial round of genetics testing came up negative for Marfan Syndrome. (The doctor’s were pretty sure that would be the diagnosis.) Like father like son when it comes to mystifying lab coats? Who knows. They are now testing against two other genes that, if misspelled, would indicate a different form of connective tissue disorder. All similar and course of monitoring would be the same. It’s just good to know what direction the wind blows, especially as research in these areas progresses. And while that little wait continues, the college wait is OVER. Brandon received his acceptance letter to Eastern Kentucky University (the only school he wanted to attend) and will be off to Richmond this fall. We had fun last night filling out his housing application. And that was good to do because earlier that day we attended his soccer banquet. That bittersweet estuary of door closing, window opening is upon him now. So many things to look forward to this spring!

Jameson continues to do well with studies and bowling. High marks all the way around. We also realized he is a good 2″ taller than me today so that has him feeling pretty special, too. And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that today is Tessa’s eighth birthday. Our little snow princess awoke glowing and happy. More motivation to get through today.

So yes, we are rounding third base and it feels good. 2011 continues to bless us with progression and good news. It also continues to teach us and bring into our path some pretty incredible people, many of whom are on similar journey, taking things step by step to get to home plate.

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Just The Facts This Time

Behind this post of news and progress is another post that is tormenting me. Not sure why but at some point it will come out. Funny how words can be sometime. There’s been a lot rambling in my head these past three weeks. Blah.

HOWEVER, we did promise that this would be a place to get the updates and information on Dave’s progress. I don’t want my block to keep the good news back. Yes, we got some encouraging information yesterday.

As mentioned in the last post, Dave was scheduled for a CT a few days prior to Chemo #4 so that we could see if, in fact, the tumor had continuous response to the CHOP cocktail. Recall, we did see some shrinking and shirking post Chemo #1 but with the delay to Chemo #2 we were hoping the initial response wasn’t a fluke.

Dave went into yesterday apprehensive. Okay, that was a nice way of putting it. In reality, he had had enough and was d-o-n-e. He didn’t want to go to Chemo. After a great string of days, he didn’t want to feel lousy again. He also didn’t want to think he was going to get good news and have the reverse actually happen. I can’t blame him one bit. And, as much as I would have liked to have been the softie and let him consume faux-ality TV for one more day, it was time to get up, get out and face facts.

Sometimes being the heavy has its rewards.

What Dave learned during his oncology consult was what he needed to pump him back up and get him through Chemo #4. The CT scan from December 30 showed a much smaller tumor. In fact, it is now around 6.6cm x 6.7cm —  1/3 of its original size from the first CT at the end of August. It is safe to say that ‘Roger’ (note: tumor finally has a nickname) doesn’t like CHOP. But Roger started off as a pretty big guy; he is still going to need some assistance getting out of here.

Speaking of… Dave’s veins are starting to revolt. Previously used veins from earlier sessions are still beat-up and unable to be used. It took two taps to get through yesterday’s chemo. We are hoping and praying that after Chemo #6, the next reading will show we can say good-bye to the Chemo Lounge (although we love all of the wicked angel nurses there!) and move on to radiation. The veins need a break.

And Roger, if you’re reading this, it doesn’t mean we’re getting all soft on you. Beware, you booger, we have guns in the closet. *wink* It is safe to say what you thought was going to be your reality is clearly, faux.

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Dave | 4 Comments