Took a Break and CEA Update

by Karen on November 11, 2014

in Steve's Cancer Updates

It’s been about a month since I updated and I realize some of you are thinking something is up since I haven’t updated. I’m here to tell you NO, nothing is “UP”… all is good.

Steve took a cycle off from Chemo and ultimately had a month break. It was a nice break and Steve bounced back amazingly and we took full advantage of it. We went to Disney with the girls!

We surprised them with a trip. It was a trip we all needed. You see, we love going to Disney as a family. We go every other year and it’s the biggest thing we do. And the girls love it. We all love it actually. It’s our “family thing” to do that we all agree on –  and at any given time you can probably catch one of the girls talking about Disney. It’s like they are there all the time. It’s a part of their life.

Over the summer, Steve and I started talking about taking a trip in the fall. Not knowing even how Steve was going to feel, we just thought it might be a good idea. We have no idea what the future brings for our family but we knew it was something we needed to do now, rather than later.  But we also knew that as we got closer to the date, we may have to cancel.  So once we decided and booked it, we kept it a secret, just in case.

What we didn’t know was how much we’d all need the break by then, and what good timing it was going to be.

At different points in this journey of “chemo”, Steve will need a break to let his body take a rest and build some strength back up. But he won’t always get to pick the breaks, according to the doctor. This was one of those times he could and it seriously couldn’t have come at a better time.

So we surprised the girls Sunday 10/19/14 at about 7:30 am with the news that we were heading to Disney THAT DAY! They were so excited and speechless. It was a great moment! So we spent 9 days in Florida and had a great time. Steve had trouble keeping up the first few days, he got tired very easily. We did about 10,000 steps each day, so it was totally understandable. But after a few days of walking as much as he could, and eating as well as he could (Steak practically daily!) he bounced back and really gained a lot of strength. I’m sure there was some mind over matter playing a part in that because we were enjoying ourselves a lot.

Am I saying there were no temper-tantrums, fights, tears and yelling? No, because if I did I’d be lying. Everyone who spends a week in Disney with children is going to experience temper-tantrums, fights, tears and yelling – this is the real world. Did we have an absolute blast??? WE SURE DID.

But by the time we came home, we were ready. Steve was sad the day we left because that meant we had to go back to the real world – and chemo which he had scheduled at 8am the next morning. But we couldn’t hide from it and I assured him, it would be okay. I mean after all, we had so much fun, we’d be on a natural high for a least the rest of the week, right? (It was only Tuesday).

Well Steve did fine, but I didn’t. I was on that natural high I was talking about the day after we came home (Chemo day), but the next day I hit a rock and was down for at least a week. It sucked. Going back to reality ended up being harder for me then for Steve. And while I’m glad because I don’t want anything else to bring him down, I hated the way I felt last week. (Which is why I never updated this blog, I needed some time to bounce back).

And then my friends noticed and they stepped in and we had a much-needed coffee/girl talk session and it really helped. I’m so blessed to be surrounded by the amazing people in my life. And my neighbors are always there for me, and I’m so ever grateful.

Okay, back to Steve. He gained almost 10 pounds between sessions, which was great! His chemo session after the trip went well. He was tired but that was pretty much it. The tingling in his hand was minimal and didn’t last very long. He ate well, so I don’t suspect he lost any weight but we will know on Wednesday.

And then he started coughing and ended up with a really bad cough which resulted in a mouth sore. 🙁 It’s not the worst one and we both think it’s only because of being sick, but it’s still a mouth sore and they aren’t fun. He will get through this and we are pretty sure next week won’t result in a mouth sore. But we’ll see. It’s pretty much out of our control.

The blood work for this week’s chemo included his CEA count and it was 11 – the same as the last time. But that’s GOOD. Considering he took a cycle off and reduced some of the chemo – the doctor is very happy with that. In fact he told Steve that at this point, it may stay there for a while, while the tumors continue to shrink. It may even bounce up and down a bit. So needless to say, we were very happy when we found that out today.

And now I’m sick. I have the cough Steve had and a really bad sore throat. So I can’t go with him to chemo this week and I feel awful about that. He keeps telling me that he doesn’t mind, but I just hate knowing he’s sitting there all day alone. Granted, he’s not really alone as there are a lot of other people there including all the wonderful nurses. But there isn’t much I can do about it and it was bound to happen eventually.

We are hoping that this chemo session goes as well as the last one as Holly’s birthday is this coming weekend and she’s really looking forward to it. So I hope that Steve is up for it.

The doctor said we’ll do another CT Scan in December. Hopefully that shows more of a reduction on all tumors.

Thanks again for your continue prayers, calls, emails, texts, support and love. We truly appreciate it all!

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