Saturday, 16 May 2015

Saturday 2015: May 16th; Chemo and Anniversaries...

Monday 4th ~ Saturday 16th
I couldn't believe that I found the perfect pair of red ankle length gumboots and they fit me. I had them, my hot pink raincoat [I know red and pink should never be seen...oh wait that's blue and green.] and the strongest umbrella I could find, packed ready for the predicted wet weather that was supposedly still hanging around Sydney, and we were ready to set off for the second of three in this round of chemo! 

This time I was prepared...rain; hail or storm. But it didn't happen. The weather was beautiful. Crisp days with blue skies; I didn't even have to get my beanie out, and my very functional wet weather gear stayed in the car. However; there was a massive hailstorm after we left the city and from the photos I've seen, Mother Nature had turned King Street into a winter wonderland for just I little while. I was kinda bummed I missed that.

Infusion two of three went really well, with few hiccups and no multiple cannula attempts for the first three days. That all changed and the record was broken by the end of the fourth. Bren however is not sure if he wants to request a port or PICC; he is just going to wait it out and go with his gut,  for now he will stay with a cannula. 

As I write this we are getting ready to go down for infusion three of this round, one week on, one week of is tiring, but we are looking forward to a good stay. Fortunately the only other hiccup last time was that an extra night in hospital was required to flush the methotrexate out of Brendan's body before he was allowed to go home, so he didn't get out until the Saturday. We are hoping that doesn't happen again this week for many reasons, one being that it is my 50th birthday on Friday and I would rather be heading home with my husband that day, then spending the night alone in a hotel room.

The good news is that Brendan's recovery this week; again has been very good. Exhaustion has been the only obvious side effect. We have had a busy week at home. Between chemo stays life goes on as usual. There has been more one legged skipping on the back veranda and daily walks around the block, so Brendan can keep himself strong and ready for the 3rd infusion in this round, the exercise seems to strengthen his veins. The starter motor has gone in our little golf, so Bren has spent a good part of his week with his head under the bonnet, and we have had a parent teacher meeting with the gorgeous Miss Smithurst; who tells us Tyra and Baden are doing and coping extremely well, all round. We are very relieved to hear this.

I wish I could explain to Julia just how important she and the school are to us, and that they play a huge role in Brendan and I being able to concentrate on Bren's wellness with far less stress, knowing that our kids are in such good hands. I can't really find the words when we are at the meeting, yes I know...unusual for me, and I end up with tears. I love OBPS and we love Miss Smithurst.

The other good news is that Brendan's new leg, with all the required whistles and bells to get him back on two feet and actively mobile again has been given the thumbs up. So we are looking forward to the next visit to the Amputee Clinic. It will possibly be between or sometime after (we don't really know, but hoping sooner than later) the next round of chemo this week and the consult with Dr Bhadri, which will include CT & PET scans and their results on June 4th & 5th.  The test results should tell us how successful the last round of Chemo has been. 

June is the one year anniversary of Brendan’s original malignancy diagnosis. In that time he has undergone three major operations. One to remove a tumour and large amount of bone from his right leg, and place a titanium prosthetic inside it. The second was a resection of the lower lobe of his right lung to remove a small secondary tumour.  And the third was an above the knee amputation of his right leg to remove a very large recurrent tumour at the original site. 

Throughout the year, scheduled around the operations... he has undergone 6 rounds of chemotherapy; three of which required three over night stay infusions each, two weeks apart. He is now about to have the last 4 overnight stay infusions of three in his seventh round of chemo, and the chemotherapy will continue when this round is complete. 

I know... it all becomes a bit of a blur and can be quite confusing when you throw in clinics and consults with the oncologist, orthopaedic surgeon, sometimes a radiologist and the thoracic surgeon. And now also regular up coming appointments with the Amputee clinic. We haven't had a minute to spare for most of the year. Needless to say we haven't had time to schedule counselling sessions; which have been advised for each of us separately and the four of us as a family...but we will when we can fit it in.

Sure does help a year fly by. :) Just 12 months and life as we know it is completely different from everything we thought was certain!

The changes we have faced so far have been life altering and challenging. They have been devastating emotionally, physically and spiritually; and yet to balance that out we have been shown how strong we are, how loved we are and how amazing our family, friends and our community are. We have been shown what is really important and we have been shown that life is good.

I have learnt in the past year that the statistics of getting cancer are way to high. Over 100 000 Australians are diagnosed with cancer each year: 1 in 2 Men and 1 in 3 Women will get cancer before they are 85. that's half the men you know and a third of the women.

Hope though is I hope that a cure for all cancers is within our reach, because with statistics like that it is something that touches us all.

....For more information on cancer facts, causes and prevention follow this link to NSW Cancer Councils Hope ~ Turning the Page:

Thank you #teambrendanm for hanging in there with us every step of the way.

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