We have just completed the first full week of simultaneous chemo/radiation treatments, and there have been relentless assaults of this most reviled mass. Dennis is holding up quite well, although he does have occasional bouts with nausea.
By the way, he is looking for an alternative for the word “nausea,” because it makes him sick just thinking about it. But the more creative we got, the more the alternatives were sounding like some kind of mutated names for the Seven Dwarfs! "Icky", "Barfy", "Pukey", "Yukky", "Crappy", "Crummy" and "Pissy"-The ugly seventh step-dwarf. (He's the one on the left). In order to guage the nausea, we ask Dad, "On a scale of one to seven, which dwarf are you?" We hope he doesn't choose the seventh dwarf because then we can't take him out in public. But Zofran does relieve the icky, barfy, pukey nausea to some degree, so we are grateful for that. This medication also makes him slightly loopy. (Now he knows how it is to live life blond!) But I just ease him into his recliner, give him his blanket and remote…and go shopping. Zofran-induced stupors can be a good thing.
There was some good news on Friday that we want to pass along. Dennis has his “hunka” back. Yes, he weighed in three pounds heavier than last time. OK, he was wearing his Frankenstein combat boots, and the nurse made him take the keys, bowling ball and dumbbells out of his fufu bag, but three pounds are three pounds!
When he was radiated, we noticed that his mid-section was glowing so much it looked like he’d been spending time on the beach. I felt so bad for him, that in an effort to alleviate some of the burn, I volunteered to take some rays for him. Hey, I still have my tatts…why not? But once again the suggestion was duly noted by the singe techs…and duly dismissed. Those guys at Huntsman are nothing if not efficient.
Anyway, one of Dennis’ patients, Chris Chytraus, whipped up a batch of what they call “Chris’ Concoction,” and when applied to the affected area, it relieves much of the burn from the radiation procedure. This stuff is wonderful. It works on everything from dry skin to wrinkles. I actually tried some as a night cream, and there seemed to be a few less creases, according to Dennis. (However, he was loopy at the time.)I have now assumed custody of this miracle potion, and I like to do a spa treatment on myself while applying it on Dennis’ “ground zero.”
Dennis is trying to get plenty of rest during all the exhausting procedures. In fact, we have even had a chance to watch the finals of Dancing With the Stars. In an effort to bring out his inner “Helio,” I asked him if he would like to try some dance routines with me…like the “Queasy Quick Step,” or the “Toss Your Cookies Mambo,” or the “Housewife Hustle.” He declined the offer, however, and said he preferred the “Slow Polka” to the couch for a nap. I thought that was reasonable since my dance card was full already. Now you can see why living with me has taught that man patience!
FROM DENNIS: I thought I might interrupt my wife’s blog up-date for a brief comment. I continue to be overwhelmed by the many people who have expressed love and support during this difficult episode. Even comments from the smallest of my patients are big words of encouragement. Little voices bring such joy. I have always been impressed with the parents, especially the many moms I visit with, who do such a remarkable job raising wonderful children in these challenging times. Since I have the best patients, it must follow that dedicated parents are successfully raising this generation. I commend you all. It is a privilege to be a part of this amazing parenting experience.
As you might guess, the Clot is learning some very valuable lessons. Here are just a few:
- Fear and courage can reside in the heart simultaneously…and that’s OK.
- Kindness is a powerful energy source.
- Positive words can salve and bind wounds, uplift weary spirits, and heal aching hearts.
- If you laugh while eating muffin mix, you will snort “muff puffs” from your nostrils.
- A really good day is just that…a really good day.
- Armpit hairs caught in double-sticky tape can ruin a really good day.
- Sometimes we wish life’s lessons could be learned from reading text books. But I guess there are no Cliff’s Notes for wisdom.
We have been shown such kindness. We cannot find words to thank you. We have been fed, loved and ministered to. This is such a comfort to us all. And you are all such good cooks. In fact, LuAnn Spiers brought a cake with home-made German chocolate frosting so delicious, that it triggered a frosting frenzy rivaled only by predators at the top of the food chain. We are all “frosting freaks,” when we’re not mainlining muffin mix. One of Dennis’ partners, Joe Jopling, said he told his sweet Southern Baptist mama about the current situation, and she began to immediately pray for him. She says she is a “Prayer Warrior,” and it is very comforting to know that we are on the prayer list of this amazing lady. We are fighting a battle. But we want you to know that every kind word, every courtesy extended, every act of generosity and every prayer help us fight a portion of this battle. Thank you all for covering our backs.