Gosh, it's been an age since I last posted. I apologise for my slackness however, life has been a bit hectic since Christmas.
We found out before Christmas that Dan had unfortunately not gone into remission as we so hoped for. At the end of his ABVD chemo treatment there were still 2 very small, almost negligible spots that had not gone. BUGGER!
We spoke to doctors and they told us that in the New Year Dan would begin a new regime. This one would entail 2 cycles of ESHAP chemo followed by collection of some of Dan's own blood stem cells and then a chemo treatment called BEAM which is then completed with a transfusion of the stem cells being transplanted back to his own body. This treatment would be much harsher for Dan and he would not be able to work through the duration of this treatment.
Fast forward 3 months.
Dan had his stem cell transplant last Thursday and is currently home with me awaiting the crash of his bloods. The side effects of the BEAM involves ulceration of the mouth and lining of the digestive tract and gut, severe diarrhoea, nausea, fever, acne and skin irritations...you get the picture.
The doctors expect he will be re-admitted to hospital sometime this week due to fever or generally unwell. So far, he's doing ok. We have to attend 3 clinics a week so they do blood check, and then off to day care for top ups of any fluids or blood products, or possible admission. Yesterday it was a 10 hour day at the hospital, NOT FUN! It ended with him requiring some fluids and potassium. His bloods have begun to drop significantly but not dangerously, yet. Throughout all of Dan's previous chemo treatments he has been extremely lucky that he has not experienced any fever or dangerous neutropenic (low blood count) episodes. If he gets through this one he will become one of a very small number of people who have escaped.
Dan is still able to eat quite well and he is still giving me cheek, so he's not too bad, yet.
This treatment is now complete and he will have a follow up PET scan in about 6 weeks. We hope and pray for a good result this time. Fingers crossed.
I could go on about how this has affected our whole family, emotionally, physically, financially etc. It's sure not fun. I can say, it's an experience I will be glad to be at an end, however, we have done it together, all 3 of us! I'm so, so proud of my husband and daughter. Each day they inspire me to forget how tired I am and just get on with what has to be done.
I am on leave from work at the moment. I have taken 2 weeks off from my Prep teaching to concentrate on Dan's recovery. It's truly been exhausting and I'm not ashamed to admit I hit the wall a few weeks ago. Every one kept telling me how strong I had been, but I knew differently. I was crashing, and fast! I was having head spins and heart palpitations at school and was crying every 5 mins, or so it seemed. Taking leave was certainly difficult for me but it's been good for me. I am still tired but at least all I have to concentrate on at this time is my family, til next week.
All the best to you and yours.
Isabella enjoying some fishing while we were away for Christmas relaxing before Dan's treatment began in January.
Dan and Bella enjoying the pool at Christmas!
Christmas lunch, Queensland style.
We look forward to getting away again soon to our favourite family destination, Gemini Resort, Golden Beach.