Saturday, March 14, 2009

Week 4 update - Sometimes the windshield, sometimes the bug

Well, Week 4 was better than Week 3, but unfortunately, not a lot better. While I didn't have any hospital stays or strong allergic reactions to the chemo like last week, I still had a somewhat shaky week.

I was telling Annette that I felt at my worst starting point (health wise/feeling) for any week so far. Monday started off fine with just RT and we had a great evening wherein we got a chance to visit with Annette's youngest son, Kelly, have dinner with him and then we were invited to listen to him sing at a rehersal with a big band that he sings with. They are great and he has an amazing voice.

On Tuesday I had RT and regular infusion of chemo (without the research drug.) At the very end of the session I got a little nauseated and upchucked . We went back to the hotel and I went straight to bed where I upchucked all night and couldn't keep down water.

I went in early in the am as I knew I was dehydrated and sure enough my BP was way down (68/48) and they had to give me two bottles of IV saline solution. Had RT and returned to the hotel. Thursday they thought I would need to do the same so I went in early, but my BP had recovered and fortunately I didn't need any IV. Had RT on Thursday and Friday and we returned home early to Fayetteville.

They have given me several more drugs, anti-nausea pills (3x), steroids (2x) to help the appetite (which I have none, nadda, zilch), the worlds most expensive mouthwash for a very sensitive mouth ($595), and one more liquid to help with the swallowing. This has me up to about 30 pills a day now along with the washes, skin creams, and various other stuff. You have to be really diligent to remember to take everything you are supposed to when you are supposed to.

And while I don't want to sound totally in the dumps, I do think that the cumulative affect after 4 weeks of treatment is taking a toll on me both physically and mentally. I am doing my best to maintain a positive attitude and keep my eye on the golden ring, but the mind can work on you and get you down if you let it. I am doing my best not to let that happen but the uphill battle is getting a little steeper each week.

My biggest challenge right now, on an hourly/daily basis, is the lack of appetite. I don't want anything. I haven't had a cup of coffee in a week. I have to force down anything I take in. Nothing tastes good, nothing appeals to me and in fact all food just about makes me nauseous to think about. But I'm trying , and Annette is pushing me as she should.

I sometimes think how fortunate I am to be young, strong, and in otherwise good health (and, oh yeah, good looking) to fight this battle. I can hardly imagine how difficult it is for the elderly or very young children. It makes me want to cry just to think about how difficult it must be for them. Also, I am so fortunate to have the love and support of a good woman who has been right there every step of the way to wipe my brow when I puke, get me anything I need, push me to eat when I don't want to, and generally be my Nurse Nightingale. I'm lousy company now, too, but she puts up with me without bopping me on top of my head like she probably should.

I am laying low this weekend just trying to rest. Our weather is crummy so that makes it easier. I'm watching basketball tournaments and golf so I'm not bored. I am glad there are only two more weeks of treatments. Between the cold sensitivity issues, mouth sores, nausea, fatigue, and generally crummy feeling this thing is starting to not be much fun. I'll get through it with your continued support and prayers and we will look back at it and say "that wasn't so bad and thank God it all turned out well."

Till next week I'll hang in there and you do the same. Dont' forget those prayers, I know I can use all I can get.


  1. Drew,   You know you come from some good tough stock.  We are all pulling for you.  As you know we are all glad that Annette is there for you.  You owe her a big big vacation when this is all over. Keep in touch........ Darla

  2. Dad think of the this as the home stretch and only 2 weeks left and only 2 Tuesdays left. Read, catch up on movies or rent something, take your mind off the upcoming weeks. We pray for you daily and know that this summer will be a bright happy one. Finished with treatments and living life healthy

  3. OK Drew. First of all, the only thing you should be upset about is the fact that due to the steroids and cream is that you will never again be able to play professional baseball. You and that Bonds fellow; shame on you. Next, the thing about Annette not bopping you on the head...not only should she bop you on the head, she should kick your - oh yeah, this is a family site. We all know that you will "never give up, never surrender". And if you don't know that quote, rent "Galaxy Quest" - it will make you laugh!

  4. Drew. . . I know you can beat it mentally and physically, it just seems tough right now. Do the "Star Wars" thing in your mind where you bombard the enemy. I have read that it really produces helpful body chemistry to fight the cancer cells while lifting the spirit. At least it gives your mind something to do while you are fighting the nausea!! We all are hanging in there with you too!!!

  5. Drew,you have survived the worst!! It will get easier as your body adjusts to the treatments!! Our prayers will continue to speed your recovery so I can whup you on the golf course. Ralph

  6. Stay strong, buddy. Our thoughts and prayers are always with you.

  7. Little Brother!

    When we were kids you could always put up a big fight and I know you can beat this fight too. You have a great wife to help with this fight. We know you two can beat this. It was great to see you and play alittle golf last weekend. Hang in there Drew and we are praying for you.

    Rock and Cherry

  8. papahuggins@aol.comMarch 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Hang in there, Drew. Won't be long before all of this will be just a memory and we'll all be so grateful that you made it through! Oscar and Sue