Round 5 of Chemo Done

This week Steve completed his 5th round of chemo and he’s still doing really well.

The tingling in his fingers started almost immediately when he touched anything cold.  Even when he washes his hands, if the water is a little cold, they start to tingle.  Or when he got up at the infusion center to use the men’s room, he has to push the IV to the bathroom.  The handle on it is metal and it’s so cold inside the infusion center, that the handle gets cold.  So even that bothered him.  It’s extremely irritating and he gets very frustrated with it.  Even though he knows in the whole scheme of things, it’s not the worst thing, it’s still pretty irritating.

I remember before I got pregnant with Allison, I had a hives that would only come out when it was cold or cold air would touch my skin.  The doctor said it was a virus and would take a while to work itself out.   It drove me absolutely crazy and when it was itchy, I was extremely frustrated.  Even though I’d take Benedryl, it didn’t ever take it completely away.  This lasted several months and it wasn’t until I was pregnant with Allison, that it actually went away and never came back.   So I can totally understand how frustrating this is for him.  And it sucks that since it started happening already, it’ll happen during each treatment.

Once it gets cold outside, it’s going to be even harder for him.  He’ll have to really bundle up when he goes to work in the morning.  He’s not going to be able to clean off his car very easily nor will he be able to shovel any snow or even use the snow blower.  It’s not going to be a fun winter and I’m not looking forward to it at all.  I guess I’ll be getting up early when it snows to help him clean off his car before he goes to work.  It’s a small price to pay for his being alive.   I know wearing gloves will help him during this time, but how often did you wear gloves while cleaning off your car and you fingers and hands still got cold?  A lot I bet.   If that happens to him, he won’t be able to drive to work after that as his hands are useless while they tingle.

And we’ve decided that next year we have to hook the heater up to the pool.  It cooled down so much he wasn’t able to swim much at all.  And if you know Steve, you know he loves the water.  It was depressing for him.  We even bought a nice big umbrella to shade an area in the pool for him, but he hardly used it.  Next year we’ll make the water warmer for him.

Even after this 6 month cycle of Chemo ends in January and the tumors are shrunken as much as the doctor thinks they will shrink, he’ll still be on chemo.  The doctor said he’ll pull back on some of the meds, but he’ll be on a chemo maintenance to keep the tumors for growing back.  So the tingling will probably continue into next summer as well.

Besides the usual being tired, that was the only side effect he had this time.  Not that he’s had many others.   So all in all, it wasn’t bad.

Now he’s back to work next week.  The kids start school on Wednesday and I’m going to sit in the house with the TV off, the dog in the crate and the phone turned off and just enjoy the peace and quiet of no one being home – for THREE DAYS STRAIGHT!   It’s been a long summer with a lot of togetherness and while I loved it, I need time for me.

Everyone keeps asking me what I’m doing for me, to make sure I take care of myself so I can in turn take care of Steve and the girls.  Besides the occasional pedicure I’ve had this summer, I take a sleeping pill every single night so I get a good nights sleep to face the next day.   But I am booking a massage as soon as school is in.  Because I totally need and deserve it!

Thanks again to everyone who is praying for us.  The prayers are working and he’s still doing well.  We really appreciate it.

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