Brenda’s Progress #11

Hi Everyone

Its now been a while since the last update. We seem to be getting into a bit of a routine. The day starts with breakfast which is now taken at the table. Before the OP I was taking breakfast into Brenda. Now she gets up and showers then joins me for breakfast. It’s great to have her at the table in the mornings but I think she would like me to bring her breakfast in bed sometimes. I guess we all would like to have it brought to us.
I then give her, her morning medications. This varies as she has an antibiotic two mornings a week. This is to fight off some rare bug that patients on chemo are susceptible too and is particularly nasty. Then it’s her injection.
It then depends when her Radiotherapy appointment is as to what happens next. If she has a morning appointment I usually sign on to my work quickly, check my mail then off we go to Radiotherapy. It usually takes just over 30 mins to get to the clinic. We have been lucky as the clinic has just expanded and it has its own car park. We have been able to use the car park even though the building is still being completed.
The treatment lasts about 15 to 20 minutes then it’s off home we head. The staff at the clinic is wonderful. The girls in the treatment room are very caring and take the time to get Brenda settled on the treatment table and line up the mask and machine. The treatment desk receptionist then checks the appointment already made then makes an appointment for the next week. Every day we get an appointment for the following week so we know a week at a time when they are. They vary a bit as they are always slotting new patients in and others finish their treatments. The girl who does the appointment is very tolerant with the clients and tries to give them times that suit them. Every Tuesday we see the Doctor at the clinic. He checks to see if every thing is going along OK and also checks the results of a blood test we have fortnightly.
Then comes the best part of the day, the drive home.
Why is it the best part of the day?
We treat ourselves to a coffee on the way home. We go to one of several drive-through coffee places or I get a takeaway from one of the cafes. Then we take our coffees down to one of the car parks along the beach. Sometimes we will stop in one of the bush parks and watch the world go by. This is a very relaxing part of the day. Then off we go home.
If the appointment is for later in the day I end up doing some work before we go. We prefer the morning appointments as it gives Brenda a chance to come home and relax on the bed in the afternoon. I try to get her to relax by putting on a CD of calming music.
If she doesn’t go to sleep she will knit. Brenda has several different things on the go at the moment from feather wool items to finer wool garments so she will do a bit of each for some variety.
I will continue to work and give her her chemo tablet about 4 o’clock. When I finish work its dinner time and one of us will make dinner. Everyone has a go at getting dinner and I think we are surviving very well. It’s more medication at dinner time then a couple of panadol to go off to sleep.

Last week we saw the surgeon for Brenda’s Post Op checkup. He was very pleased with her progress as it was a definite improvement on her Pre Op condition. Brenda asked if the tumour could grow back. He replied that it could and most probably would grow back and depending how it was situated he could operate again if required.
This news really hit home for Brenda. She left the doctors in tears. We were driving home on the freeway both of us sobbing away not knowing what to do. We headed for the Lakelands Christian Centre hoping Pastor Patti was there. Pastor Murray was there and he spoke to us both and he prayed for us. We left there and went home feeling a little better but still in a bit of a daze. Latter in the day Pastor Patti came and we spoke for quite sometime. When we saw the Radiotherapy doctor today he put it a little more comforting. He suggested we see how the treatment goes and then see if the size of the remaining tumour is still the same size as it was post op or had decreased. If that is the case then enjoy each day but watch for signs of any regrowth. He would still continue some form of treatment while ever it helped.

God Bless


Brenda’s Progress #10

Hi Everyone

Good news we have now had four chemo treatments and all is fine. Brenda is using the different Anti-nausea drug and sipping ginger drinks. We have now run out of this anti-nausea drug so we will check with the doctor before the next chemo. It will probaly back to the original drug as the doctor said the nausea should settle after the first few treatments. The doctors can only perscribe 4 of the tablet she has just used so we will see tomorrow.
Today Brenda and I attended Sarah’s Church. We went last week but only stayed for about half of the service as Brenda was feeling a little weak. This week she managed the entire service and a chat afterwards. Just goes to show she is getting stronger and stronger.
Brenda has been feeling the cold on her head during the night so she has been wrapping her head in a scarf during the night. Its quite a sight, she looks like an indian reclining in the bed. She snuggles down in the pillows as well and the scarf kept coming off. A friend of Brenda’s (Maree) arrived on Friday with a hat she had made for her. Maree has a freind who makes babies bonnets out of fleccy material and Maree asked if she could upsize one for an adult. Her friend tried one and it is fantasic. It is so warm and soft and so comfortable Brenda sleeps with it on all night. It has teady bears and hearts on it.

Brenda Coffee
Brenda enjoying a coffee during her rehab at St John of God Subiaco Cafe.

God Bless

Love Steve

Brenda’s Progress #9

Hi Everyone

This week was the first week of treatment. We didn’t get off to a good start. Monday morning I was up at 7:00 to give Brenda an anti-nausea tablet then her chemo capsule at 7:30 then I made breakfast for 8:00. I then gave her other medications and injection. Brenda showered and then lay down. We had a 1:00 o’clock appointment at Radiotherapy clinic so we needed to leave home about 12:15 as it is a 30 minute drive.
Brenda went off to sleep and I started work while she slept. At 11:30 she woke and went to the bathroom. She had started to vomit. This settled for a while so we started out for the clinic. Not a very pleasant trip as we had to stop several times due to vomiting. We got to the clinic and had to wait a short while. Brenda had to go to the Ladies during the wait. Then it was her turn for therapy. The girls were great they helped Brenda on to the table of the machine. They then rested her head on a clear plastic platform set at an angle to the table. Then they placed the mask over her head and aligned it up with the machine using laser beams.
Poor Brenda she was still feeling quite sick and now she was attached to the table of the machine. She had horrible thoughts of being sick inside the mask. However she managed to control it until they had finished the treatment. When they sat her up she started again. The clinic has a nurse that sees patients after their first treatment so she came and got us and took us to the treatment room. She spoke to the doctor who ordered several injections the help the nausea. We gave that a while to act then it was home again. The journey home wasn’t quite so bad but it was no fun.
Doctor suggested we stop the chemo until we were due to see him on Tuesday. Tuesday’s therapy session was a piece of cake, in and out in about 10 minutes. We then spoke to the doctor and he suggested we change some of the medication and start the chemo again on Thursday after the treatment. This would give Brenda a few days on the chemo without worrying about the radiotherapy. We don’t have a clinic session as the machine is having maintenance work.
Well we will se how she goes. The doctor said he has patient that are sick on the first day then they are fine. I hope this is the case with Brenda. The radiotherapy seems to be making her tied some she has a nap in the morning and the afternoon. Apart from that she is doing quite well. Tonight she helped me cook a cottage pie. She did all the veggies by sitting at the table. She reckons it is a bit awkward but she managed to do it.

Welcoming Committee
The Nieghbourhood Welcoming Committee when Brenda came home.

Thank you for your prayers.
God Bless
Love Steve