What a fantastic month June has been!
Dal weighed in at 13st 10 & 1/8th up 2lb since last time such a good sign. He continues to take Lansoprazole 30mg but only once a day as apposed to the two a day he had been taking in May. A week after his first chemo, Dal stopped taking any other pain killers, he had been on the maximum amount of pain killers prior to chemo, he was woken in the night with pain, but now, there was no need, there was no pain.
You may recall that Dal had been on mashed food, daily smoothies and the food supplement Fresubin as prescribed by the Dietitian. June started off much the same, Smoothie for breakfast and Soup for dinner. On the 2nd of June still with a bit of a cough, (we now know that this was the start of his Chemo cough), he took some hot lemons, having already had another Covid19 test the previous Sunday and not receiving a phone call to tell him to stay home, he went off to the hospital for his blood test. That afternoon, whilst I was at work he received a call from his oncologist to discuss how he was doing, this was only a brief call, confirming the bloods taken that morning had come back fine and they would be going ahead with the 2nd round of FLOT. Being a positive guy, Dal took this a good news and that afternoon he tried a tin of spaghetti hoops with hot dogs, it was something that we both felt that he would be able to swallow if he took it slowly; and he did . Dal took the next few days slowly, psyching himself up for Chemo on Friday. His appetite had started to return, and although he still had soup at lunch time for his dinner he tried a small bag of mini cheddar's with a baby bel cheese and sliced boiled egg. Success! On the Thursday he had to start taking his steroids, Dexamethasone,4 x 2mg which he took with his cornflakes, he continued his soup lunch regime and another 4 x 2mg Dexamethasone and progressed to having proper sausages (skin removed) with spaghetti and egg at dinner time Then came Friday, Chemo day up early to take the steroids with his breakfast and be ready for transport to take him to the hospital, still no visitors allowed so off he goes on his own at 08.30, fully organised for his day ahead.
On route to the hospital they collected another patient, when they reached their destination Dal was still made to walk around to the front of the building and use the main entrance, the other patient was allowed through the back door with the need to social distance this is the one thing that has made me a little angry , but as always Dal takes things in his stride and helps a lady patient who was also not allowed to go in the back, even though she was dropped by hospital transport, and had no idea where she was going. This was a long morning, as unfortunately the pharmacy did not have the chemo formula ready, and although his appointment was 10.30 they were unable to start treatment until 12.30. So whilst waiting (and after reading several pages of his book) Dal was offered lunch which he had with 4 x 2mg Dexamethasone and a Fresubin. At his last treatment Dal had the yogurt simply because he was unable to swallow very well, but as mentioned his appetite was back and he decided to try a tuna sandwich made with white bread. At 12.53 I received a text which said "Triumph, had half a tuna sandwich with half a bottle of water, will have the other half in 30 min or so xxx " he went on to say "Just thought that I would try it here, didn't matter if it didn't work xx" This was the first time in 3 months that Dal had been able to eat bread, it was the biggest of the stepping stones from a food point of view, and he managed to finish the sandwich with the other half of the water whilst undergoing treatment. Today was his Mum's Birthday, it was also the Funeral date of his dear Aunt D, so many things for this man to think about and finally at 7pm he arrived back home, Exhausted but happy to have achieved so much. Dinner today was snacking on Mum's Birthday platter, but this was also a marvel. This man is an absolute magician.
Saturday, this is the heaviest day for pills, once a fortnight, early morning is the Lansoperazole, as he has to wait 30 minutes before he can have anything else, then he has his breakfast with 4 x 2mg Dexamethasone and Domperidone anti-sickness 10mg tablet. Lunchtime was a Fresubin, a home made Smoothie 4 x 2mg Dexamethasone and Domperidone anti-sickness 10mg tablet. Dinnertime was a small cut steak with carrot and sweet potato mash, a can of fizzy drink to help it go down, a Domperidone anti-sickness 10mg tablet, later followed by Trifle...
Over the next few days Dal managed really well, we had expected Sunday to be ok and it was, topped up with fruit smoothies and anti sickness pills, we waited with anticipation for Monday, this had been his worse day after his last treatment, but surprisingly things progressed really well, and on the Tuesday rather than having some nasty side effects he just felt a little more tired than normal. His eating continued to go well, having a root mash of one kind or another with most meals, he found that this helped the food, along with the carbonated drink (a tip from the specialist)
On June 9th Dal found eating his dinner a bit more difficult than he had done over the past few days and the following morning, he noticed the first signs of hair loss. We had tried to trick his hair by giving him a trim at the weekend but it didn't work. After his shower we removed as much of the loose hair as we could, and I trimmed the remainder again, agreeing that if the hair loss continued much longer we would take it all off, rather than have hair patches.
Further along the week, Happy Birthday Dal xx - He asked for a small sparkling wine to celebrate this day, he ate steak, goats cheese and beetroot salad, his appetite was back again.
Next blood test on the Tuesday and also an assessment with the nurse, who was really pleased that Dal had been eating normally, exercising, and putting on weight. Even though Dal should be on the high level of shielding the nurse agreed that as long as he took every precaution he could go out for a walk and ride his bike if he wanted to and then came the next chemo. Same routine as mentioned earlier, still eating sandwiches and generally getting through these days with limited side effects. This was the third session of chemo, this is the one that they said he would start noticing the difference with, this is the one that possibly has made all the difference! Because even though Dal had started feeling better almost as soon as his 1st chemo started and had started eating solids before, he was now eating everything, no need to take the skin off the sausages, no need for mash with every meal, no need for a daily smoothie to ensure he gets the nutriments he needs, he can eat normally. He has not had a stent inserted, which means he can have a CT scan after his next treatment to see how well he is doing.
I want to mention some of the other things we have been doing to boost the medical treatment Dal is receiving. We are great believers in Crystal Healing, spiritual involvement, meditation and positive energy. Dal calls it brain training, (I have to say he has mastered it better than I, his positivity is something to be admired). Every night almost since Dal's diagnosis, he has slept with an organza bag of selected Crystal, some are for the removal of negative energy, some are known to have a positive healing effect. Some are for used for keeping his Chakra's open, and maintaining positive flow. Every day, these Crystals are cleansed with incense and chimes and a mantra. We have done meditation sessions, where specific Chakra Crystals are placed on his body, singing bowls are tuned and infused oils are used. Dal has directly spoken to the alien, he has spoken to himself in the mirror, demanding the invasion is ceased . My Mum from afar, concentrates on Dal's Chakra points, we have many friends and family sharing and sending positive vibes for healing .. we are blessed and grateful for everyone who is involved in this fight.
June 30th, next blood test day, it was also the next conversation with the oncologist, who has confirmed that after the 4th Chemo session on July 3rd a scan will be arranged to see just how well Dal is doing.. We continue to Pray, to Believe, to Focus, on a positive result. We know that this is not an invasion that can be cured, but we believe it is one that for the time being at least it can be halted in its tracks... We won't be told the results of the scan until July 13th - it seems such a long way away, but it isn't really... Here's hoping for some Great News
Dal would like to add, We're not going to know until they look inside, but we seem to be winning, I am eating everything in sight, I continue to remain open minded, beat it with the treatment, beat it with your mindset, stay as positive as you can, if like me you are fighting this fight, stay strong, stay focused, stay positive.