Monday, February 29, 2016

Dare we hope?

Today's visit with the doctor was a good visit. We are starting Cycle 4 of the chemo and he brought up the word cure. He actually said that with the addition of radiation we are looking at a possible cure instead of just containing the cancer.

A couple of weeks ago we saw a radiation specialist. He said we are going for a cure. Pat cried, I cried.

Things were finally hopeful. Of course it is still one day at a time. THat is curing this cancer. What about recurrence? Typically the type of cancer he has recurs within 2 years in spite of all treatment unless bladder is removed.

I have to make sure that Pat feels hope. He has to fight or it is all for nothing. Funny thing is, I am the one that always spreads hope and he is the one that always sees the dark side. I see the dark side and have to project I am seeing the bright side.

Last week Pat's blood work showed he had a dangerously low platelet count. His white count was low and his blood level was right about needing a transfusion. His levels are better this week but still low. Chemo goes on tomorrow as planned unless there is a dramatic drop tomorrow.

I think I need a vacation.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Palliative care

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. (https://getpalliativecare.org/whatis/)  
That is what they are calling his chemo now. The cancer has spread into his lymph nodes. No surgery is what they are saying. No cure, surgery can kill him. Just die.
So I am looking at quality of life. What can I do to make it better for him, for the time he has left. How long will it be? I don't know. I just do not know anything anymore. I am at a loss at what to do. I want him to live. I need him to live. Am I just wanting to make his life better for him or me? I don't know.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Quality of life

Oxygen is something everyone needs, we cannot live without it. We breath it in and exhale carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide level and oxygen level  in your blood tells your brain to breath in and exhale. Someone that has COPD has a higher level of carbon dioxide in their blood and they breath faster than normal. They also have decreased lung surface area where gas exchange takes place-oxygen for carbon dioxide. Now if their oxygen level is high they do not breath as fast, if they do not breath as fast they get an even  higher level of carbon dioxide. It can be a vicious cycle and the pros and cons of giving a COPD patient oxygen is weighed heavy. 

Pat has been on oxygen at night while asleep for a long time. Yesterday we went and they checked his oxygen and decided it would benefit him more to have oxygen when he is doing activities as well as when asleep. 

Quality of life is important. I need to make every bit count for him.