As we bid adieu to the cancer cells, the time of being a non-patient between cycles grows shorter and shorter. We’re told that all that non-wrestling, non-boxing, non-football playing has paid off and Rich’s counts, thanks to some now-expert dart playing with that Neulasta needle, are in good form. Another round of blood-work this coming Monday will determine a few things: If there’s a need for any platelets, if Rich will have his pulmonary function test… the last of the pre-tests… and more importantly this round will determine if we’re starting our last cycle of RICE this week. We’re getting closer to that Mille Bornes!
We’re pleased that the side effects of this protocol have been mild compared to what we expected. The barking seal has subsided… every now and again he sends out his call… but overall, the bulk of the hiccups have calmed back down.
A nice burst of energy has come back as Rich’s cell count begins to rise from the sudden drop during the week. At one point, the exhaustion hung in the air like a fog. When that happens, you think to yourself, “Is this how it’s going to be til this is done?” You try not to follow that line of thought but at times it just sneaks in. Thankfully, we find that the exhaustion, like our voluble seal, is a temporary thing.
And finally, we’re so grateful for the absence of stomach pain. As Rich sloughed off those cancer cells, his ulceration from the mass began to heal. The wizards of oncology have decided that while he’ll be an inpatient for the RICE infusions, they’ll use that opportunity to take another endoscopic look at the inside of his stomach to confirm the healing that we know has taken place. Back on the menu, with moderation, are the pickles and brines and acidic flavors that Rich loves so much. We’re taking this opportunity to sample the foods that will be forbidden for a period of time after the transplant due to bacteria risks. Sushi with Mom and sons Rich and Nick yesterday was a welcome change from the limited diet of the last few months. So we say to cancer what the dolphins did when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, … so long, and thanks for all the fish!