Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Setbacks

People have been asking me how Michael is.

He was supposed to have round 3 of chemo today. However, they couldn't administer chemo today based on the results of today's blood work. His white count is down. Which is not uncommon for anyone undergoing chemo, but it's a setback we kind of weren't expecting because up to now, his numbers have remained good. But today, his white count is down. Enough that his oncologist said no chemo this week, let's allow another week to rebound from the last cycle (from 2 weeks ago). It's nothing serious, and apparently not surprising, but . . . well.

So this screws with all of our expectations. You have to understand, you start to schedule your life around this stuff. "Oh, we've been invited to this or that . . . hmmmm, does that fall during an on-chemo or an off-chemo week?" Life is a constant roller coaster.

But wait, it gets better.

All this time we've been operating under the understanding that the protocol for Michael's type of cancer is 10 rounds of chemo, including the two he had before his surgery. In fact, I specifically clarified this with the doctor while M was in the hospital. So it was supposed to be 8 more rounds of chemo after surgery, over a period of 16 weeks.

Well, today M was told that no, he's supposed to do 10 rounds of chemo after the surgery, over 20 weeks.

He's had 2 rounds so far, and we thought he was a quarter of the way done. And we find out today that he's still got 8 rounds to go. This was such a blow.

It's so, so hard when you first get the news, and they tell you "This is what you have to look forward to." It takes so much . . . I dunno . . . something . . . to wrap your head around it all and get to the point where you're like, "Okay, this is going to be really, really hard, but we're going to put one foot in front of the other and we're going to get through this."

And then something like this comes along and it just kind of knocks you down all over again. Now we have to completely readjust our expectations.

With the delaying this week's round of chemo for a week, and then adding the two rounds we weren't aware of, that extends this whole nightmare by FIVE weeks. And that's only if there are no more setbacks!

All this time, we've been thinking, okay, it'll all be over sometime in December - by Christmas, it'll all be behind us, and we can start the new year with a fresh start. But no. Now we are looking at being well into the new year before this is all behind us.

Someone told me a while back, when I was telling her about Michael's cancer, she said, "My brother-in-law just finished a two-year battle with that type of cancer." And I remember thinking to myself, "Two years?? Michael's whole thing should be under a year. I wonder why that guy battled for two years?" Now I get it. I totally get it. It's about a year from diagnosis to completion of treatment if it's a textbook case with no complications and no setbacks. But of course, everyone probably has some complications and some setbacks, but they don't tell you that at the starting gate.

Michael was texting all this to me this morning while I was doing all my running around with the kids. Finally I dropped the kids off at home and went to get my truck washed and I sat at the car wash and just cried my eyes out. I haven't had that falling-apart feeling for a while, but I have it now. I feel like, FUCK!!! How much more can we take??

This. Just. Sucks.

But, you know what? As usual, Michael has a good outlook and a good attitude. Better than I do. So I need to get out of pity-party mode and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

4 comments:

Larry said...

Lisa I am SO sorry to hear this - I know you are marking the days off on your calendar until being DONE and this has to be crushing to morale - but you will bounce back and keep doing your one foot in front of another approach until it really is DONE :) Let's try to get together again soon! Give M and the kids a hug from me. Lisa

Jodi said...

That just sucks. If my doctor had told me I had to be pregnant another 20-40 weeks, I would have wanted to kill someone. You've been working towards this goal and then they move the damn goalposts. So sorry for both of you!

Carla said...

Argh! I can't believe this just keeps getting moved around on you. Sitting in your truck and having a good cry isn't a pity party, it is letting off some much needed pressure. Hugs.

Sheryl said...

Sometimes I would feel like I was in a big black hole trying to climb my way out and thinking I would never get back to having a "normal" life again. Everyone assured me that it would happen....and it does, it's just a long road! You guys will get there! Sounds like someone needs a tub of ice cream.