Paul had his 3rd chemo treatment and the side effects are getting weirder and weirder. Neuropathy is a new one of course. That’s cold sensitivity in the extremities. Pain and tingling in his hands when he reaches into the freezer. Taking things out for dinner is no longer an option without using a cloth to pick it up. No more ice in drinks since it causes a sensation like his throat is closing up. Never a moment without socks and slippers on our tile floors. At the moment it only lasts about a week. That may change since chemo has a cumulative effect so we expect it will eventually last from treatment to treatment. There is a chance this could become permanent….a big fear for Paul, especially since he is a musician. Tingling fingers do not make for easy flute or saxophone playing.
A new one this week is cramping in his hands. It doesn’t hurt apparently but his hands will start to curl up on themselves. It happened while one of the chemo drugs were being administered and happened once more when he got home. All normal side effects according to his nurses. Just another interesting adventure in chemotherapy….
You wonder where it’s going to end. I spent some time last night searching Ampullary Cancer and found some sites with some survivor stories. It was good to hear some people in their 60’s and 70’s (since that is the median age for this type of cancer) speak of having their Whipple Procedure and chemo/radiation 3 years, 5 years, 7 years ago and how well they are doing. Sadly there are more stories of loss and suffering….being told you have 6-8 mos. to live…..burying your father 6 mos after his “life saving” surgery….
Even the long-term survivors spoke of the long and slow recovery. Taking a year to regain 10 lbs. another year to get to 15 lbs. back. Paul’s weight loss is difficult for me to see. My once robust strong husband is a shadow of his former self. But his eyes are bright and his life force is strong……and of course, I wonder how long he can hold on to that.
I KNOW he will hold on to that until the bitter end….there is no doubt….but sometimes that “will to live” just isn’t enough. If it was, a lot more people would have defeated cancer…especially pancreatic cancer….and Ampullary is so rare they treat it and lump it in with Pancreatic. So I browsed through support sites among pictures of Steve Jobs and Patrick Swayze….knowing those guys didn’t give up either but…..they still lost….
I’m sure I will have a change of heart when I hear the doctor tells us Paul is responding to the chemotherapy. I know that is the catalyst for all of these thoughts…negative thinking?….I don’t know if I would call it that….but I am even more consumed than usual with Paul’s health. Getting the PET scan results next week is all I can think about. Like a marble tumbling around in my head…cancer still growing? looks like it’s improving? “I’m sorry Mr. Klemm there is nothing else we can do.”? Like a head full of Bingo balls each with a different result. So until next week those balls will keep tumbling around, keeping me up at night…keeping me occupied…..