mainecoon Posted June 21, 2003 Share Posted June 21, 2003 Ten days ago, on the 10th, my wife was scheduled to go to the U of M Cancer Center for her third chemo session. The night before she'd been so anxious that she took a second 5mg Valium sometime during the night to help her sleep. By the time she was supposed to go to the hospital she was so incredibly fatigued she could barely lift one foot in front of the other. For a moment as we sat on the edge of the bed we even considered not going through with any more chemotherapy. But she roused herself through sheer dint of willpower. A kind friend of ours who had come all the way up from Toledo drove her to the hospital. When I finally spoke with our friend she told me that my wife's hemoglobin count was down to 8. The medical people decided to do a transfusion rather than chemo. I was told that she fell asleep during the examination. She came home and went directly to bed. The next day she told me she could barely remember anything of that day. After almost five days she regained a good deal of her former strength. Both her physical and mental state changed dramatically for the better. On Wednesday we went to the hospital for a CAT scan, and yesterday we returned for a consultation with the oncologist. I cautioned my wife not to expect any dramatic improvements after only two sessions. When the physician's assistant came in she told her that she could continue with the chemo, if she was so inclined. I immediately sensed my wife become tense. She said, 'So you're saying the films didn't show any improvement?' The assistant's eyes immediately widened, and she replied, 'Oh,no. There's been significant shrinkage of the tumor. It's just that some people choose to take a break from the chemo if they can, because of the side effects.' The oncologist appeared and verified that they were "on the right track" with the chosen chemo. He also said that my wife could start another session on Monday, and that he would instruct the nurse to administer Anaprest to maintain a healthy hemoglobin count. Afterwards my wife and I let out a mutual sigh of relief. When the assistant said 'if you're so inclined' we both heard "Well, your situation's hopeless and there's no real point in chemo anymore since it's not working; but if you want it we'll give it to you." Sometimes, all too often really, medical people are unaware of how devastating a few simple words or a turn of phrase can be. Anyway, I want to give thanks to all who have contributed their experiences to this board. It's been a rich source of inspiration which I've been able to pass onto my wife to encourage her when she's feeling beyond hope and especially depressed. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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