Over a six-week period, Dad’s cancer treatments really wore him down. In the beginning (weeks 1-4), he was okay and could be on his own and was keeping up with his food intake goals and even getting some quick 10 minute walks in. Though he was depressed about his situation, he was getting through it.
By week 5, the radiation treatments were adversely affecting him. He was sick often, developed a rough, chronic, phlegm-filled cough, and could barely drive himself to his appointments. He was left with a “metal” mouth and hardly ate anything because nothing tasted good. Weeks 5 and 6 were not fun for him, but once it was over I could tell that his spirits had been slightly lifted just from the fact that the initial journey was over.
While he recovered in the two weeks after treatments and weaned himself off of various medications, he was optimistic about the results of treatment. He was sure that the tumor had shrunk; said he could feel that it was smaller. It was easier for him to eat. He could taste food again.
Then tragedy hit: His mother passed away under unfortunate circumstances. He was not able to attend the funeral due to his health condition as well as the many different appointments and tests his team had set up for him. This was a difficult time for him, but he made what he felt was the best choice, and vehemently stuck to it.
He went for a scan approximately four weeks after the end of treatment, to provide he and his team with results from the treatments. The team was also optimistic. Theirs was an aggressive approach and they thought they’d knocked it off its feet. They thought the chemo and radiation treatments had been successful.
They were wrong.
There was no change. Optimistically speaking, there was also no indication that the tumor was growing. But this wasn’t what Dad was expecting to hear. This wasn’t what his team was expecting to see. It shocked him and sent him back into that downward spiral into despair.
He will be scheduled for an intensive surgery in the coming weeks, with a 12 day recovery period in-hospital and a 12 week recovery period at home. He is enviously optimistic about the surgery. We are so much more battle-ready than we think we are, right? One little step forward at a time. Anything can be beared when it can be broken down into little bits.