Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chemotherapy Session #2

Chemotherapy session #2 (single dose) has made dad pretty tired, but he has had a much easier time as far as nausea goes. Hopefully this weekly schedule continues to be easier on him!

Thank You, Mustangs!

A big thank you to the staff at Horse Heaven Hills Middle School for their thoughtful gift... dad sure is enjoying loading up his NOOK!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Change in Chemotherapy Plan

On Valentine's Day dad met with Dr. R for a visual assessment of his tonsil and palate. She concluded that the tonsil was responding to the radiation treatments (7 at that point) and that in three weeks she will use a scope for a more thorough examination. 

Due to dad's reactions to the three doses of chemotherapy, Dr. H has decided to continue treatment with single doses once a week beginning February 24th.

So far dad has completed 12 radiation sessions and three doses of Cisplatin, and his blood work has been coming back just fine. He has been keeping busy at home reading his NOOK, performing population control on non-native species of birds with his gun (poor birds), and learning how to play the guitar!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Special Lion Pride Visit

The Kennewick High School Staff all pitched in to give dad some great gifts that will help keep his spirits up through treatment! A NOOKcolor and cover, Barnes and Noble gift cards (to load up the NOOK with all sorts of fun reading material) and a gift card to the mall (which he can use to buy smaller clothes, as he has already lost over 20 pounds)! The Library Divas made a fleece blanket for dad as well. Pam Kangas, Marianne Feller, Don Fankhauser, Dave Francis, Alex Kangas and Shannon Tracy brought the gifts by and cheered mom and dad up with their visit! Below are some pictures of his "loot."

Thank you everyone, for making my dad feel so loved!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Radiation Pictures

Dad has experienced a few more side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and food aversions. Considering the fact that he was given three doses of chemo in one day, however, he's doing pretty well. From what I hear, he's really bored! This is his first time not teaching in about 25 years, so I think he needs something to keep him busy over the next few months that doesn't require much energy. Ideas, anyone?

I asked dad to take some pictures of "The Mask" and he sent me one with him wearing it, one of his "waffle face" after radiation, and two of the radiation machine!

I enabled blog comments, and so if you do happen to have ideas of some hobbies for dad please feel free to leave a comment with them, or shoot us an email at

Friday, February 4, 2011

Side Effect #1

Dad's initial course of chemotherapy treatment was to have three doses of chemotherapy in one day, and then return three weeks later for another three doses, three times. The other route would be one chemotherapy dose once a week for nine weeks. Yesterday was dad's first three doses, and although he didn't feel the side effects last night, he sure did today.
Dad passed out twice this morning due to low blood pressure and dehydration. Mom could not catch him, and so he hit his head on the way down both times. An ambulance took them to Kadlec where he was given IV fluids, an X-ray and a CAT Scan and released after a few hours of observation. He is feeling better, but will definitely have some bruising and headaches for the next few days.
Radiation continued today, but later in the afternoon than planned.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Day "Impressions"

Mom and Dad were very impressed with the Tri-Cities Cancer Center staff. Dr. H (Hematology/Oncology) and Ms. T (Oncology RN) are both proficient and caring. Dad says that cisplatin (chemotherapy drug) hasn't lived up to its ominous reputation at this point, but that the anti-nausea medication may be keeping its side effects at bay. He also has to wear a mask during his external beam radiation therapy to secure his head in place during treatments. Dad says...
The Mask! It looks evil, it feels evil. Two guys placed the mask on me while my head was tilted back over a high neck bridge. The mask was so tight I could feel my carotid arteries pulse. Swallowing while in the mask is difficult as is opening and closing my eyes. Freddy Krueger has nothing on me. Afterward I walked into the patient waiting room where four guys and one lady stared at me because of the lines the mask left all over my face. I said, 'I have been diagnosed with waffle-face disease.' Some got it, some didn't. The receptionist asked me how it went and I said 'Let's just say it left an impression on me.'
Two more chemotherapy sessions (3 doses per visit) and 30 radiation treatments left! On the road to recovery!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In the beginning there was chemo...

Dad starts chemotherapy Thursday, February 2, at 8:30 in the morning, and radiation follows at 1:45!