Saturday, February 28, 2015

Radiation Starting This Week

Rudy, Linda and Nancy met with Dr. Herskovik, a doctor in the Radiation/Oncology department, Thursday and Friday.  I was at home while the floors were being installed.  I sure hated missing those meetings.

Nancy described Dr. Herskovik as similar to Einstein!  They all agreed he was smart and nice.  Linda said he did a great job of explaining everything.

I talked to Rudy, Linda and Nancy separately, trying to find out as much as I could about the meetings. At the first meeting, Dr. H made clear that chemo was the most important part of his treatment and that Dr. Thompson was in the lead.  He had consulted with her in all plans.  He did feel radiation would be helpful in two key locations.  One is in the lung near his esophagus.  The other is in the lower back.  He showed a scan on a large screen so they could see the exact locations.  All I know is lower back.

The second appointment was to map out the target areas.  They made a mold of Rudy's body, did a scan and made marks all over.  With radiation, they have to be very, very accurate.

Rudy will go for a total of 14 daily radiation treatments (weekdays only).  The treatments only take about 20 minutes each.

Swallowing Issues
A new issue has popped up in the last couple of days.  Rudy is having trouble swallowing pills.  They all seem to stick in his throat.  He takes LOTS of supplements - each is to help with a specific issue - mostly having to do with keeping his immune system in good shape.  This doesn't seem to be a one time issue.  It seems to be happening at every pill taking session.  I am hoping and praying this ends up being a non-issue.

The new floors are being finished up as I write this post.  They are very close to finishing.  It looks so much better.  I will never again consent to move into a house before the floors are complete.  Truthfully, though, it was less horrible than I anticipated and the guys who did the installation were super nice!!!

Don't judge - When this photo was taken, the install was still in progress.  A layer of dust is covering everything in the house.  Rooms are still not put together.  Even so, it's a HUGE improvement!  

In some places, like the kitchen, the floor looks much darker than I anticipated. It all depends on shadow and light.  The photo below shows the true color.  I chose the color by sweeping up the dirt and fur on our floor and sprinkling it over all the samples I brought home.  The dirt didn't show hardly at all on this floor.  That sample board must have had fairy dust on it.  Things are definitely showing up on the real floor.  Dog fur remains hidden pretty well, but grass clippings, sawdust, and wall patch dust show up quite well.  Mud, too.  Our knucklehead dog, Teddy, bulldozed in on Thursday after playing in the mud and his tracks weren't disguised a bit.  I swear, that dog is super lovable, but he's more trouble than all the others put together.

As soon as the installers are done, I need to scoot to the grocery store.  I haven't been able to do any shopping for ages.  Rudy's weight is up to 190 (yippee!), but if I don't get some food in the house, that won't last.

I'm beyond tired.  Lots of other words come to mind - worried, overwhelmed, unorganized, out-of-control.  I always thought the Serenity prayer was perfect, but I've modified it a bit.  I'm running on empty.

Rudy seems down.  I hope the chemo and radiation next week help.  I hope we can start on immunotherapy soon.