These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Dad's chemo

Dad said his first round of chemo went well last week. He had to go both on Monday and Tuesday for treatment.
He went into the room where there were others also having their treatment done on them. It was like an IV, except the needle was inserted into the metaport below his collar bone. The process took about three hours.
There were others there, dad said, that were having problems. He had to help this older lady who was having difficulty.
He said there were people there about his age (in their 60s), some a little younger, and the older lady.
He carried on a conversation with this guy next to him who said he'd lost his hair by the second treatment. Dad didn't know if he was going to lose his or not, but had a light-hearted remark toward the guy. He said, "Well, if it does fall off, maybe it'll come back curly." Now, that's the dad I know, the one with the subtle sense of humor. The dad I grew up loving.
He also met this man in the waiting room who was a downer, but I don't think it got to my dad. The man said his situation was hopeless. He had had the cancer for two years and there was nothing left to do. When my parents talked to the doctor about this, the doctor said it was his job to tell the patients the truth, no matter how bad the situation, but that while there may not have been hope for that man, there was still hope for my dad.
When I talked to him Sunday, he said he was getting his appetite back and was beginning to eat more. Plus, more importantly, he could taste again. That was one of the reasons why he wasn't eating; he couldn't taste what he was eating.
He did have a bout with hiccups that lasted days, but after going to the emergency room and getting some type of medicine through an IV, it helped out and they're gone now.
So, he sounds good now, the best I've heard him in a long time. At least since the operation. He's had no vomiting or nausea yet and he's hoping it's not too bad if it does come.
He'll continue to have treatments twice a week, every two weeks. One of the treatments is for the masses in his liver to see if they shrink, and the other treatment is for the colon, to make sure the cancer does not return. He's supposed to go for six treatments before they check him out again.
I also think my dad's happy because it finally rained at both ranches. The hurricane (Emily) didn't really bring an enormous amount of rain, but it did bring moisture. They've now received a good six inches or more at the house and maybe four inches at the other ranches. He said things are green and they've had to actually cut green grass. I don't think it had rained since before we visited there in March. South Texas is so unpredictable when it comes to rain. You can get three to four months, even six months of good rainfall, then get nothing for the next six. It sort of defeats the purpose of the rain that fell the previous months.
Let's hope it continues on a regular basis, at least until it's time for it not to rain again...A year or so from now.


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