Showing posts from April, 2018

27th April, 2018

Back from Nick's follow-up. A day-killer this one! We'd been out bar-hopping until the wee hours with my excellent staff, a "spring fling" to give a proper send-off to the load of folks who are retiring this year. Then, after showing up at 10:00 at the Cancer Centre, we waited, hung-over, grouchy and starving for almost four hours to see Nick's oncologist.  Anyhow, Nick's bloodwork continues to progress in the right direction. His beta-HCg tumour marker is down into the low 100s now, and hopefully this week's cycle will nail it. Nick's blood cell counts are also low, and they might need to transfuse him at the start of chemo. In a way, having the blood marker above zero makes it easier - Nick had been considering refusing a fourth cycle of chemo - but it's really not an option under the circumstances, so he won't be putting up a fight at this point. It sucks though, as he'll be in rough shape for his birthday (May 6th). We'll celebrat

25th April, 2018

We can't seem to escape the hospital. Nick has a few more days before he starts his 4th cycle, but now Tanja's dad Richard is at University Hospital. He's been suffering from a blood disorder which requires weekly transfusions, and leaves him with very low immunity. He entered the hospital on Monday with double pneumonia, and a blood infection and fever. Multiple transfusions of blood components and antibiotics don't seem to be having an impact. Tylenol seems to reduce the fever, and buy Richard a few hours of lucidity. However, when this wears off the fever returns, and with it comes delirium and agitation. We're so hoping that he can pull through this. 8:20 - Just back from UH, where Richard seems to be doing much better. The fever seems to have let off, and Richard was quite chipper. Fingers crossed, he'll get through this soon. Time for bed after a roller-coaster ride of the past few days. 

15th April, 2018

Home again. Man, this seemed like a long week. Nick had been placed in a ward room - three other patients, but no one was into talking to us this time. Oh well. Can't blame folks for not being too chipper in the chemo ward. Tanja's oldest and best friend Meredith (Mimi) flew in from Texas and paid us a visit at the hospital. Always great to talk to her. I keep getting additional details of Tanja's squirrel attack. Mimi and Tanja had been coming out of the house one hot day, and for whatever reason Mimi allowed Tanja to go first...    ...which put her throat directly along the squirrel's trajectory as it leapt from the garage room. Evidently, the squirrel not only tore at Tanja's throat, but also viciously lacerated her mouth with its razor claws, and left her bleeding heavily from the lips and gums. I still maintain that squirrels are, by and large, benevolent creatures, but I guess I can't really blame Tanja and Mimi for hating them.  Alex's grandpar

11th April, 2018

So far so good for cycle #3. Nick arrived Monday, promptly hurled. The on-duty oncologist, Dr. L., said that the sight of her often makes her younger patients hurl, but she doesn't take it personally. Guess you have to have a thick skin and a sense of humour to do her job.. Nick's been really zoned out since then - the chemo, the steroids and antinauseants, and of course one of his "medicinal" cookies taken Monday night, have all helped. Nick has had absolutely no desire to smoke anything since getting here, which is great - no coughing at all. Tanja, myself and Alex have been putting in some long shifts to be with Nick. We don't really talk that much, but we have had some Scrabble games. Time for one now! Three days down, two more to go!

6th April, 2018

Good news at Nick's follow-up this afternoon! Nick's beta-carotene blood markers are way down. He'd been at about 90,000 just before the start of chemo. This had dropped to about 32,000 after cycle #1. As of today, the disease is in full retreat, with the tumour markers at a mere 630 or so. All other blood work is solid, so Nick's got a green light to proceed with cycle #3 on Monday. They'll do a CT scan after this round, just to see what visible tumours remain. If all looks good, Nick could be done treatment after cycle #4, in about 6-8 weeks, which in turn means that we'd be able to return to work and get back to normal life.