Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ken:1, Cancer:0!

The past few weeks have been really rough for dad. He's had weight loss, constant nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and a scarily high temperature that landed him in the emergency room for a few hours. His platelets are extremely low, and his blood pressure and pulse are both in unhealthy ranges. Due to these symptoms, Dr. H decided to forgo the last two chemotherapy sessions. And since today was his last day of radiation, dad is officially DONE WITH TREATMENTS!!! I kind of want to stand in the street and shout that, but I figure posting on here will do!

Dr. H and Dr. R are confident that treatments were successful, and that the cancer is gone! According to visual assessments, there is no sign of cancer in the palette or tonsil. Now we must wait... dad has to heal from radiation in order to have the tests ran that will be able to confirm the absence of cancer. The following are important dates that I will update after:

April 6th: Chemotherapy follow-up with Dr. H
April 13th: Radiation follow-up with Dr. R
Mid-June: PET Scan and follow-up with Dr. B at Virginia Mason in Seattle. This appointment will determine if dad will need any type of surgery, whether it be of the tonsil or lymph node, or both. 

Dad will still have the above mentioned symptoms to deal with for a couple of weeks, but he will only get better from here. This is a relief not only to him, but to the whole family. We really miss him being able to talk to us (radiation has made it impossible to not only swallow food and liquids, but also carry on a conversation) and can't wait to have him feel well enough to play with Harlow! Plus, those darn birds are really getting out of hand...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Turning the Corner!

On Thursday, dad saw Dr. H for his weekly round of chemotherapy. His blood work came back good and his kidney function is fine so he can continue on the treatment schedule. He has two more chemotherapy sessions, ending on March 31st

Friday, dad met with Dr. R, and a visual assessment showed a lot of improvement. According to Dr. R, dad has “turned a corner.” We probably should have asked for more detail as to what “corner” she meant, but we are just happy to know that there is a corner, and he has turned it. We’ll be sure to find out more details concerning said corner next week. 

To be honest, dad feels like crap. All of the drugs and radiation are starting to catch up to him, but luckily he knows that there are only a couple more weeks left of chemotherapy and radiation. After he finishes, he will have a month or so to recover before seeing a specialist in Seattle to determine if it was all successful.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A little chemotherapy humor...

Dad says, "Reading the NOOK makes chemo time fun time!"
And this hunk of metal is the maching that monitors the flow of dad's liquids during chemo. Ruth Ann, my grandmother went with dad today and called it dad's "secret girlfriend."

As of today,chemotherapy session #5 is complete!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Good News!

As of today dad has completed 4/9 chemotherapy doses and  18/40 radiation sessions. Yesterday Dr. R did another visual assessment of his throat, and the tumor on his tonsil appears to be 40% reduced! This is great news, and has him progressing through treatment as expected! 

Dad is really starting to feel the effects of radiation - he has completely stopped eating because food has no taste and his pain level is about a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10. All of his nutrition comes from cans of protein mixes now administered through his feeding tubes. For more information go here.

Recently dad has uploaded an encyclopedia, a handbook on weights and measures, Birds of North America, and a ballistics software program to his NOOK. The ballistics program he uses to plot the trajectory of his air rifle pellets. I have a feeling the non-native birds are in even deeper trouble now...