Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I never thought...

I never thought in a million years that the Stem Cell transplant would be more difficult for Ken to deal with than the massive doses of chemotherapy.  But I guess you learn something new every day.

The anti-rejection drugs are brutal.  One is a chemotherapy agent that he previously had at a far higher dose... but also had it counteracted with another drug at the same time to minimize the effects.  As part of this blog, I feel I have to be brutally honest about some of the things Ken's going through... it's pretty much common knowledge that chemotherapy causes nausea and vomiting, right?

These drugs cause mucositis - an inflammation and sloughing of the mucus membranes.  The inside of Ken's mouth is peeling away, painfully.  So are other areas that have mucus membranes.  He is currently on fairly high doses of pain medications to make life bearable.  He wasn't able to eat, so they had to start giving him nutrients though his Hickman line.  Coughing hurts horribly, so he uses a suction tube to try to gently remove loosened phlegm from his mouth and throat.

I know, awful.  And there's much more, but for now, I need for us to focus on the positive.

Ken is holding his own.  He is strong, and I know he'll keep going.  With any luck, his daily blood tests will start to show that his new Stem Cells are doing their job, and Ken will be back on track to coming home in time for his son's 3rd birthday - I know it's important to him because he missed his 2nd birthday last year because of the cancer.

Love. Hope. Courage.

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