Radiation Update


We continue to battle the effects of the radiation treatment.  The most challenging piece is, as always, the pain management.  This time round, although we were more informed, we ended up not being more prepared.  With my husband’s first round of radiation he was not on chemotherapy;  with this round of radiation he was.  The difference was that he went into the radiation already weakened and with a low hemoglobin which the radiation effectively wiped right out.  So this past week has been rather exhausting from trying to manage the fall out.

On Saturday the 28th of February our daughter had her baby – a healthy baby boy that weighed in at 9 lbs 5 oz.  It was considered a high risk delivery since a routine ultrasound the day before (Friday) determined that my daughter had no amniotic fluid.  This meant that the baby would need to be delivered within the next 24 to 48 hours.  Despite the lack of fluid, all of the baby’s vitals and my daughter’s were fine and consequently the decision was made to induce her and work towards a normal vaginal delivery.  This was not to be.  Unfortunately after 90 minutes of serious pushing the baby had not budged.  It appeared that his head was tilted upwards and his position was slightly off preventing his progress into the world.  A caesarian was required and at just after 8 pm he made his entrance.  Nerve-wracking for me, as I was in the labour room with my daughter watching it all go down, but absolutely devastating for her father who was already an emotional wreck and receiving sporadic and edited updates from me.

Sunday it became apparent that the stress of the day before had created some additional health concerns for my husband, and for his sister who had joined him in waiting for baby’s arrival.  They were both spent physically.  My husband was having difficulty breathing, his colour was off, and his fatigue was overwhelming.  Despite feeling lousy, he still was determined to make a brief visit to the hospital to see mommy and baby and then that was it for the day.  By the next day (Monday) his symptoms had worsened and I made the decision to send him to the hospital by ambulance.  Although he was incredibly annoyed it turned out to be the right decision.  His oxygen level was low at 89, his hemoglobin low at 84 and his chest, after x-ray, appeared to be congested presenting as either pneumonia or spread of the cancer.  The attending respiratory doctor also wanted to talk to us about the implications of continuing on with the chemotherapy treatments advising how any one of these complications could be fatal.  It was exhausting and frustrating and frightening and at the same time our reality.

It was three absolutely exhausting days but the week didn’t let up – nope not at all. I have learned to never ever utter the words “what else could possibly happen” because invariably something else does.

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