Saturday, March 3, 2012

Shaved Head

Wow, the week flew by.  I didn't realize it had been Monday since I last updated the blog.  Had a couple visitors again this week and Mom & Dad came Thursday night and will go to church with us tomorrow.

Tuesday night the nausea got worse and I threw up during supper.  In general though I've felt better than I did last summer.  But I have to be careful what I eat and only certain things really sound good.  It seems like it has to be really simple or really salty or spicy.  Complex foods don't sound very good to me.  I've been careful how fast I eat and how much how quickly after treatments and haven't thrown up again the rest of the week.

I found out Wednesday in my weekly meeting with the Dr that the whole brain radiation is only for the first 20 treatments, then that part will be done.  The back of my brain and spine will continue on for the last 10 treatments.  So right now I have 12 of 30 treatments done.  I'm really glad with how fast it is going.

Thursday and Friday I had really bad headaches.  This isn't totally unexpected, and can be caused by swelling of the brain due to the radiation.  The Dr suggested that I sleep with my head elevated on pillows, which I did last night, and that seemed to help quite a bit.  Today was not nearly as bad.

We had talked to another patient with whole brain radiation who said their hair fell out at treatment 12.  That was Friday for me, and sure enough this morning I could start to pull it out in bunches.  So I shaved it all off today, didn't want to have to deal with it looking real spotty and having it all over my pillow.  I noticed tonight when we went out to eat that my head is colder now, so I might have to wear a stocking cap more often.

The last few days I feel like my mobility has been improving and the pain has been getting less, so I'm thankful for that.  As I start to feel better, I think it's going to be harder to keep the right perspective of taking one day at a time.  I've started to think more about the long term, what I want to do this summer once we get home, what I'll do once I go back to work.  I think this is going to be the most challenging thing for me in the future, to just keep the right perspective.  I've noticed as we talk to other patients here, that they all seem to have an unusual perspective.  One man's wife had lost her job a couple months before they found her cancer, so she didn't have insurance at the time.  He has a couple rental houses and if he loses one, he won't even be upset as long as the radiation cures her.  Another mom we talked to has a son in college and if it takes him 5 or 6 years to get through college because he has had to stop a couple times for treatment, they won't care a bit.  So one of my goals is just to keep the big picture in mind and the "one day at a time" perspective even if the urgency of the situation fades.

Thanks for all your prayers, we appreciate them so much. My request for the next week is that you pray that my headaches & nausea would be bearable.
Derek & Leann

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