Saturday, July 26, 2008

Out of the Hospital

Kevin woke up feeling well today, but once he got his once a month antibiotic that specifially protects his lungs from infection, he became quite ill. Truth be told he vomitted more this morning off of his megadose of antibiotics then he did the second or third day of chemo. After Zofran and Benedryl he went from getting sick to sleeping. We left the hospital in a wheelchair for the first time during treatment. My mom was concerned, but I assured her the Benadryl/zofran antinausea mix puts him out. Rachel and Grandma took him to the Target House while I finally used our Kroger Card (we get $100 card every Monday) and went shopping. When I came back Kevin was still down and was getting bothered from the smell of cooking, which is pretty much a universial side effect of chemo. I took him to the bedroom and we took a nice nap together. He slowly started getting some energy back as the afternoon progressed to the evening. Rachel picked up Mike and Scotty from the airport and everybody had dinner while I went for a run (can't run well on a full stomach of pasta). Kevin hit his peak tonight, and was his normal wise cracking self, although still physcially spent. Rachel made sure I took his temperature throughout the evening, and it was normal. He's back on TPN, so I suspect he may gather some of his energy now that he's getting nourishment. While on chemo they halt TPN (nourishment that goes through his hickman). The doctors have determined TPN doesn't mix well with chemo, though I'm not sure of the specifics. I think as the days move on, th combination of the chemo side effects and lack of nourishment brings him to today's state. I'm optimistic that he'll return to normal (his between chemo normal, not everyday normal) as the week moves on since his last treatment. The vitamins and overall nutrition from his TPN will most definitely help the process. He had a good night, and after I hooked him up for his 24 redimed Zofran and TPN, Grandma read to him for quite some time. They both ended up falling asleep, so I'll either sleep on the couch or the other bedroom. We hope and pray Kevin gets to go through this round without a fever, which he's had the last two rounds. When he's readmitted with a fever it's typically only been for two or three days. Three rounds of chemo has definitely taken a toll cumalitively on his body. The silver lining being of course that he only has one round to go. As odd as it sounds, the end of his treatment will be met with mixed emotions. I'm very happy Kevin won't have to suffer through further rounds of chemo, after next months 4rth and final round. However, there's a comfort we've all felt the last few months having Kevin's cancer being actively and aggressively treated. Though it's heartbreaking to see Kevin suffer, I've also taken comfort that the source of the sickness has been what's killing cancer cells that have evil intentions of reoccurence. When he comes home, we just hope and pray that the treatment was enough to fight off a reoccurence. When somebody gets a tumor in various other regions of the body, the surgeons have the advantage of taking out tissue much further away from the actual tumor. The brain tumor resection they take the turmor out, but have limitations of how much tissue they can remove around the perimeter. Alas, this is why we are at St. Jude's. This protocol has had very good results for completely resected medulloblastoma tumors. Part of my medically uneducated self wishes he could take a pill every month when he gets home that continues the assault on mutated cells. I'm still believe Kevin's going to be fine. I guess St. Jude has been an enormous source of comfort that we'll all miss. Kevin is excited for his birthday, and we'll make sure to make a big deal of it while here. I'm especially thankful to my work, who's allowed me to spend a good deal of time here. This has become home, and Michigan has become where I travel to every week to work. My house in Michigan is where I stay on my "business trips" back to Michigan. That's good though, as we couldn't be more pleased with the Target House and St. Jude. Next weekend I'll stay in Michigan for the 5k race that's benefitting St. Jude Brain Tumor research. The course is extremely hilly which is a bit discouraging for me, as I've done 90% of my training on a flat treadmill. I'll have to find a way to squash my competitive nature and run the race for the cause instead of competition (easier said then done). We have an early day tomorrow at the hosptial so I should sign off.

Take Care

Eric

1 comment:

terri braswell said...

I am so glad Kevin is getting some of his energy back. It is a slow process. I know exactly how you feel about St Jude and the security they offer here. As bad as we all want to go home there is great comfort in being here. I am sure once we all reach our departure date we will all be having mixed emotions. It is of great comfort to know that St Jude is always here on our side and they take exceptional care of them with a very stringent follow up to treatment. I pray that Kevin gets through this round without fever and continues to feel well. I wish you luck in gyour upcoming race and know it will be with mixed emotions to be there even for a great cause versus here with Kevin. Hope ya'll have a good night and better tomorrow. Much love, Terri and Heather