Sunday, September 25, 2011

appetite for nothing

We are now onto our second round of the Xelox. So far it's been ok but Paul is still skeletal and can barely walk across our apartment without running out of breath. Getting him to eat is also a major chore. His taste buds are pretty much fried which is a result of the chemo since it not only kills off the cancer cells but it also obliterates the healthy cells. I've been told that everything tastes like cardboard.

He's slowly regaining some of the weight he lost last month but still it's a slow process and that's with eating full fat bastard foods (still trying our best at this healthier diet but instead of skim milk like we used to have, he gets organic full milk and real butter).

I tried to entice his appetite with some grilled chicken from a Middle Eastern restaurant which is one of his favorites. It didn't go well. Not only did he race to the bathroom before he even managed to get one bite down but he also vomited for the first time since this nightmare started. And now he can no longer even hear about Middle Eastern food or the sprouted bread without gagging so I have to look for other things that might appeal to him. Let's just hope this trend doesn't continue as it could result in him being admitted to the hospital whether he likes it or not.

In the mean time, the oncologist has told us to suspend the Xeloda. Let's just hope that this extended break will help ease all of the side effects and he can feel somewhat normal until his next chemo session in two weeks.

Friday, September 16, 2011

what's the magic number

Here we are for round 2 of what should be a minimum of 12 rounds of Xelox. The oncologist told us today that he is just awaiting approval from the insurance company to add Avastin to the mix. Avastin isn't a chemo drug as it doesn't fight the cancer. What it does is it attaches itself to a protein called Vascular Epidermal Growth Factor (VEGF) and it blocks the formation of new blood vessels to the tumors. Yet another cool biology lesson.

The good news is that after just one round of Xelox, Paul's CEA number has plummeted from 137 down to 95.6. You can just imagine the happy dance I did at work when I received the email from the doctor. Of course, it's still high but it's heading in the right direction at least.

Paul is getting used to the side effects and we are trying to figure out if there is any kind of pattern to the nausea, constipation, fatigue, etc. It's going to be a conundrum but I am sure we will figure it out somehow.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

our 20th shagiversary

Yup, 20 years today with the old codger. Where did the time go?

When I first found out about his diagnosis I made up my mind there and then that I would finally change my surname. It's been a bone of contention for years. I'm the last of my family name and although I have no real family to speak of, I was proud to let the name die out with me in a blaze of glory but it's always bugged Paul since we got married 14 years ago that I wouldn't become a Hornby. Hey, with the name, comes the streaks of bad luck so I was justified in avoiding it. But changing my name was the only thing that I could think of that only I could give him and honestly, it was a bit selfish on my part since I am figuring that it will make my life a bit easier when dealing with the health insurance company and the hospitals.
The actual name changing process wasn't that difficult. Headed down to Social Security where I thought I would be for hours and ended up being helped in less than 10 minutes. Then I headed over to the DMV where the wait was out the door but got my new horrible picture taken and my new license was on its way. I still have to do my passport, bank accounts and utility bills but those can all wait for right now.
It hasn't been easy keeping this secret from him but I did it. I got up early this morning and changed my name on Facebook and waited for him to wake up. Paul is a pain in the ass when he first wakes up so I had to wait a little bit until he was a little more semi-alert and then handed him my new social security card and said, "Look what I did." He didn't get it. So there was my moment thwarted. Oh well, all best intentions but secretly I know he was elated.