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  • Writer's pictureAlexis Kemp

Cancer seriously sucks, but our people don't

As far as chemo treatment goes, the first one has gone as expected, I suppose. Seth slept through the first half of the infusion and actually seemed to feel pretty decent afterward because of the steroids and anti-nausea they infuse at the same time. That lasted until Friday evening and then the chemo ick all seemed to crash into him at once. It was terrible. He was in so much pain and everything on him hurt. I’m not sure what to do for him when things get that bad. I just have to sit by and watch and let him yell at me for looking at him too much. Poor guy. It’s horrid for me to see, I can’t imagine having to be trapped inside a body riddled with so much pain.

The pain has been slowly easing, but now he’s left with extreme exhaustion that keeps him in bed until noon or so each day. This has added to the problem that he’s still losing a lot of weight. He’s lost 15 lbs since mid-March and 3.4 lbs in the last week. He’s down to 144 lbs and I’m struggling to put/keep any weight on him. I can practically see every bone in his body and it’s terrifying.

It was determined that because his bladder is so volatile at the moment, they will only do the Folfox part of the treatment, not the Avastin for now. Apparently the Avastin works by targeting the newly formed blood vessels that tumors form and because it’s so quick and effective, it could potentially leave a hole in Seth’s bladder that will force surgery early. We don’t want that. Dr. Williams confirmed that there will be no saving the bladder and it will have to come out eventually, along with just about everything else in his pelvis once we shrink the tumor enough, but we want to wait as long as we can and get the tumor as small as possible before surgery or else they might not be able to resect it all. I’m not sure that Seth is up for one surgery as major as this one will be, let alone two… We’re keeping an eye on things and if there are no major changes or issues with the bladder, we might add the Avastin in on one of the next treatments. I really hope it starts shrinking soon…

Our friends are amazing. Seth’s brother, Wilkes, brought over a friend and they did a load of yard work Saturday. Our friend Ree came over with a juicer and we got to destroy fruit and then she did a major overhaul on my fridge and freezer to make room for all the yummy juice we made (and the 11 jars of pickles I apparently own). She brought muffins and granola bars and loaded them full of extra calories for Seth. Holly came by with like 800 lbs of the most amazing baked ziti meatballs. We’ve been eating on it all week and the freezer is still full! Dani topped it off with a giant bag of cookies and more dough so I can make more when these run out. To be sure our support system has been amazing through all of this. The event at Bar Method was one of the biggest events ever hosted thanks to Dani, Anna, the Staff at Bar and our wonderful friends and family. I tell people on a regular basis that if it weren’t for the strength, support and discipline I’ve received from the Bar Method over the past few years there is no way I would be strong enough to handle what’s happening to us now.

On the plus side, everything is stable for the moment and his blood counts should improve over the next few treatments and supposedly Seth should actually start feeling the tumor shrink and it will give him less pain. That would be so nice to see. Until then, we just keep plugging along one day at a time.

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