The cancer – that’s what we called it, but usually in a funny accent so it wouldn’t seem as serious as it was. Scott said he got it from Forest Gump. Sounds like “Tha CANsa.” Don’t feel bad about giggling at that. I know I did.
So, we found out the mass in Scott’s chest was actually a tumor so Max the mass turned to Ted the tumor. I didn’t like Ted either. Looking back I feel kind of bad for naming the tumor Ted, because that’s my aunts dog’s name and he’s awesome. Sorry Ted.
Anyways, Scott was proscribed the R-CHOP regime of chemotherapy. I am still confused on what all drugs it stands for but it was intense – I do know that. He had to undergo 6 cycles of chemo. A cycle of chemo can be compared to a set in volleyball. It is just a game in the full match. Sadly, these sets lasted 3 weeks each. If you don’t know anything about volleyball and are like my husband and love baseball, then you can compare a chemo cycle to an inning in baseball – a really, really long inning. Top and bottom. Chemo treatment lasted from November 2014 to March 2015.
A Cycle of R-CHOP Chemotherapy
Day 1: 5-7 hours of chemo (Drugs. Lots of drugs.)
Day 2: A shot and fluids
Day 1 – 7: Steroid Pills
Day 8 – 21: Recovery
Repeat 5 more times.
Cancer sucks. Chemo sucks. Watching my husband go through chemo sucked. All you want to do is take their pain away. Take their place. Do anything to make it better, easier for them. All I could do is give Scott anti-nausea pills and put him to bed. Of course he hated me because the number one thing anyone going though chemo has to have is water! Tons and tons of water! This is no joke! Hydration is key. I had to wake Scott up every hour and basically force 4 to 8 ounces of water down this throat. He didn’t like it at the time, but he is thankful now. I hated waking him up too, knowing how terrible he felt. He always complained that the water tasted horrible. I would try to mix some lemonade or Gatorade in it sometimes to make it taste slightly better, but I bet he doesn’t even remember that. (I confirmed – he doesn’t remember.)
Below is Scott from Cycle 1 to Cycle 6 of chemo. He has never let me share these pictures before, but is finally ready. He is so brave. Just looking at these pictures brings back feelings of sickness and the experience that he hasn’t wanted to relive – still doesn’t. (Please ignore his silly smile in cycle 3, he does that all the time.)
I can really only write from my point of view on this and for me I was barely hanging on. In the beginning I thought I was going to lose my husband. I’ve never seen anyone so sick and survive. I could see his cheek bones protruding – not a good sign. I cried. I cried a lot. I still cry at the journey. (Thankfully my mom brought me some cheese dip every cycle. Not that cheese dip made me feel better, but it sure was tasty and subsided the tears for a minute.) Scott was so sweet through the whole thing. I tried not to let him see me cry. You always try to stay strong for the ones you love – never wanting them to see you scared. As crazy as it sounds, Scott was my rock through his cancer. I did my best to stay optimistic as long as he promised to keep fighting. He did.
Everything you think happens during chemo, happened to Scott. He lost his hair. He felt miserable at some points and great at others. Good news is he gained so much weight back through the chemo that he started looking normal – minus the bald head. The steroids he was taking helped a lot, but also that Ted (the tumor in his chest) was shrinking. Praise Jesus!
This was a long 5 months. 5 months of trying to stay positive. 5 months of trying not to get sick, so that I could take care of Scott and his compromised immune system. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a full year without getting some kind of crud. Well the Lord saved this year for me. I never once got sick. I did however become very sensitive to people around me who barely coughed or had slight congestion. I may have freaked out a few times. I probably shot a few people death threats with my eyes. Most likely the people only had allergies. I was a basket case, but a healthy basket case and for that I was thankful.
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37