Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ringing the Bell

Well, John's chemo is officially done. He had his last dose of the third round of treatment yesterday, and we are more than happy to put this chapter behind us. He will still have to see his oncologist for check-ups and scans every 6 months, but the treatment is over.

At the treatment center there is a bell mounted on the wall. The tradition is for the patient to ring the bell after the last dose of treatment. It seems a little silly, but it was actually pretty special. All the staff and patients in the treatment room applauded as John rang the bell. They told us we should bring the camera to commemorate the moment, so here are a couple shots we took at John's last day of treatment.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Last Round

Well, it has been a busy couple weeks for us. John's sisters were in town for a visit for a few days, then a bunch of his buddies from high school and college came last weekend for some guy time. It has been great for John to spend time with friends and family to take his mind off treatment.

Today was John's first day of Round 3 of his chemotherapy. He has been pretty nervous about it after how sick he felt from round 2, but day 1 went well. They started him on a third med that he takes each morning that is supposed to help with the anticipatory nausea. We are hoping it helps make this round go a little smoother than the last.

We are also spending time trying to decide on a great vacation. We figure after everything that has been going on for us over the last few months, we really needed to take some relaxation time. John usually has a two week recovery time after each round of chemo which puts us at Feb 14, and it just worked out that the next week is his Winter break from school, so he gets an extra week before he heads back to work. Thankfully I got the same week off work, so we are heading somewhere warm. We have been looking at all-inclusives in the Caribbean. It is so hard to choose, they all look beautiful. I'm not too particular...all I need is a beach, temps in the 80's, and a fruity drink.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Go Eagles!!

John is so excited that the Eagles beat the Giants today and are only one win away from a trip to the Super Bowl. Who would have thought they had a chance considering the beginning of their season?

Not much else going on with us. John has been pretty much out of commission this weekend after finishing the second week of chemo. He is very fatigued and the nausea has been pretty bad even with three different anti-nausea meds on board. Since I had to work this weekend, John's mom has been in town to help out, and I know he is enjoying that.

Work is going well for me. I started my first IV today, which I was so proud about. Especially because John and I had a little deal going. His oncology nurse (at the hospital where I work) had offered to let me start his IV last week because she knew that I hadn't had a chance to start one yet, but John was not really down with me using him for "practice." We both tried convincing him that he should let me, but instead he made the deal that if I successfully did an IV between now and two weeks from now (when he goes in for his last week of chemo), that I could do his next IV. He made the deal because he knows that I rarely get the chance to do IV's. By the time patients get to our floor they are coming from the OR or the ER, so they usually already have IV access. But lucky me, my patient's access blew today, so I got to give it a try and I got it in on the first shot. Poor John might actually have to follow through on his deal.

Anyway, I really should be off to bed, but instead I am tooling around here on the Internet...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A New Year

Happy New Year everyone. We hope your holidays were filled with great times with family and friends. We were able to spend time with both our families over the past month. We got back from Michigan on Sunday night...just in time for John to watch the Eagles beat the Vikings.

Now that all the holiday fun is behind us, it's back into the swing of things for us. John started his 2nd cycle of chemo on Monday. The nausea is a little worse this time around, and his hair is thinning out a lot. Also his blood counts are all pretty low (especially the white count and absolute neutrophil count). Basically this means that his risk for infection is pretty high. After the weekend of travels he ended up with a sore throat with some white spots and some post nasal drip, so they started him on antibiotics this week. Hopefully the infection won't get any worse.

As for me, I started my new shift this week. I am now on 11a-11p three times a week, with every other weekend 7a-7p. No more nights for me. I actually liked the night shift and the people I worked with, but I didn't love having to sleep for a day to make up for each shift. So far so good. I forgot how busy day shifts can be.

Well, off to bed for me. We'll keep this posted as John progresses through Cycle 2.