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Update on Jerri

JKendall
Posts: 186
Joined: Nov 2004

Hey guys...hope all's well for everyone. I haven't posted anything specific about Jerri (my wife) for awhile; it's been a little rougher than usual lately and she's fried. I'm fried. The kids are fried. Put a little gravy on us and call us chicken fried steak. (It's a Texas thang.)

She's had two Folfiri treatments after completing 27 of 30 radiation treatments. She couldn't finish the radiation because it was making her terribly sick and LOTS of pain.

After just two Folfiri treatments, her blood counts are so low the doctor stopped the chemo. Jerri's white blood count was a little less than one quarter of the lower end of normal, so the Dr started daily injections of Neupogen. She's also getting twice weekly injections of Procrit for the anemia. Is that a common event after just two treatments???

And the anti-diarreah meds she was getting during the Folfiri infusions plugged her up so bad she felt like she was poopin' adobe bricks. She also got terrible headaches, nearly incapcitating. Dr thinks it was the antinausea meds, so we'll try Zofran next time.

Jerri had a Pet scan yesterday. Now we're playing the waiting game....so much fun.

Oh, and her hair is starting to come out...and it's not because I'm making her crazy.

And I'm stressed out. Did I mention I'm stressed out? This is without a doubt the most continual stress I've been under, ever. And I've been in some extremely stressful events in the past several years.

I almost can't bear watching her go through this. But I do my best to stay somewhat upbeat and optimistic around her. I hate this ****. There. I said it. It didn't help.

Jerri is scared to death because she's having the same symptoms now that she had in the months before being diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I'm worried for her. Now what????????

Anyway, sorry for the length of this. Thanks for listening.

Jimmy

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

Jimmy,

My heart goes out to you honey. You are such a wonderful husband and caregiver. As the one with cancer, I find it hard to put into words what you loving caregivers mean to us. I was reading something today that was talking about how important spirituality is in the treatment of cancer and one of the things they used to describe spirituality was love. Jerri has that love from you and towards you. I can feel it in your messages.

Try to take a deep breath and yes this **** does stink. While we all fight the dragon in different ways, we do all fight. God loves us for that. Recently I have found that sometimes things seem to hitting rock bottom, but then something good happens. I have found my definition of good things has changed drastically since my diagnosis.

Hugs to you dear and try to get some rest and relaxation (yes they are different). I admire you so for what you are doing for Jerri and what you are teaching your children about love. Stay in touch and keep talking to us. Please know that you are in my prayers daily.

Lisa P.

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Hi Jimmy. I agree with Lisa. You are such a wonderful person, Jerri is lucky to have you! yes, cancer is a terrible beast.

I was diagnosed at 32yr old, had been married 1.5 years at that time. My hubby was my saving grace. I know how hard it was on him, and now I love him even more because of it.

It does get better, try to hang in there. I am stage 4 too; it does get better. I was able to tolerate the radiation/chemo/surgery pretty well. I am now free of cancer, and playing the waiting game. My husband and I have some moments of peace now.

Stay strong, for Jerri, the kids, and yourself. Do things to make you smile. We rented every comedy we could find. Make a list of things you love and share that with Jerri.

Appreciate every moment you have. The only good lesson from this mess. I am so sorry you have to go through all this. My husband was too stubborn to come here - I am so happy you are here. Let us help you any way we can.

I am sending you and your family happy thoughts and wishing her an easy recovery and CURE!! You will remain in my thoughts and prayers.
jana

bsrules
Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004

Jimmy,

My heart goes out to you!!! I read your post and only know to well how you are feeling!!! You are doing everything right!!!! Your wife knowing that you are there for her and your children are the best medicine for her right now. She is fighting for her life and knowing she can do that with you by her side will get her through that rough times. I know that it is VERY hard to watch her go through this!!! I used to tell myself that I didn't have the strength to get through then I would think about what my husband Bob was going through and I said to myself if he can fight this I can get through this also. I came to this site often and poured out my soul and the friends I have here helped me through it. I would think about everything that had to be done and it was overwhelming and then I just had to forget the minor stuff and concentrate on the important things.

You are doing a wonderful job!!!! Just try not to look at the whole picture at one time and just take one step at a time!!!! You have to take care of yourself also as many people told me. I did put most of my troubles on the back burner and am now trying to keep my promise to Bob to take care of me. You need to refuel on occasion and when you can do it!!!!!!!

Everyone reacts differently to the chemo and after your wife going through all the radiation treatments her system was beat up and now doing chemo it is getting hit yet again. My husband Bob also had the procrit shot and neulasta for both white and red counts, after just a few treatments. He started at 30mg of procrit and it didn't help so they went to 60mg and that did the trick. So if this happens try not to worry to much. What is MOST important is to make sure you let the Dr. know exactly how your wife is feeling and exactly how much down time she is having. That will help them figure out the doseage of chemo!!!! After Bob only had a couple of treatments he was unable to walk into the office and the Dr. was upset withthat so they adjusted the chemo which made a BIG difference. He still had down time but at least he was able to fuction on the off days after some time.

I think my reply is just as long as your post but my friends here don't mind as they like to read!!

Hang in there!!!! You are doing everything right!!!! Best Wishes and Prayers are heading your way to all of you!!!!

Love

Sue

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Jimmy,
I'm so sorry to hear about the tough going you are all facing. This disease does suck; and in addition to dealing with Jerri, you have your kids to take care of, too. I hope you have others there to help and lend an ear. Does Jerri's onc's office have a scial worker or someone who may be able to offer her and you more emotional support during such a scary time? I'm amazed that there isn't someone just sitting in the waiting room to give out hugs! Or a small sound proof room where you could just go and scream.
You have our support and prayers; thinking of you all, Judy

JKendall
Posts: 186
Joined: Nov 2004

Thanks guys, you all are very good people. Jerri's such a stubborn red head, she won't talk to anyone about the emotional side of what she's dealing with. She'll talk to me about it fairly often, but no one else. She had a melt-down Monday while we were meeting with the oncologist. It's VERY rare for her to do that outside the house. That was really hard to see. I feel bad for her. She tries so hard to be this tough, strong person.

And add in the instant menopause from the hysterectomy (sp?)....sometimes I wonder: just how socially unacceptable is it to choke a wife who's on chemo. Then I think back to her loving warning to me: When you go to sleep, I can stab you with my chemo needle (she's wearing the 5FU pump). Are we disfunctional or what??

Thanks. It helps to come here and vent, cause you guys have all been there. You all have so much strength while you fight this, I don't know how you do it.

Jimmy

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1246
Joined: Mar 2003

Jimmy,

I will echo what everyone else has said...she is lucky to have you around; it does suck; and the feeling of helplessness can be SO overwhelming. You might want to e-mail 2bhealed (Emily) and see what she can offer in the way of nutrition. Trying to control "things" that way may add to Jerri's success. My heart goes out to you and everyone else still "fighting the fight." I don't think Jerri will TOTALLY lose her hair. It may seem like it, but it will thin out. But hey, if that is what it takes to keep going, don't give up. You have an open invitation to vent here anytime you need to. Maybe have Jerri scan over some of the personal web pages to help her get some inspiration as well.

Hang in there,
Stacy

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya Jimmy...a true "angel" mate in every sense of the word. You are a credit to your dear lady.My Jen has stuck with me throughout all the horrid stuff they put us thru--that takes a lot of courage and guts mate. Be proud of yourself and never come here apologising! We as patients know only too well that carers have as much difficulty as we do.
Maybe I can offer this Jimmy. Ask Jerri to read it.
I was so depressed and sick that I thought things would never get better. Emotionally I was stuffed! My clinic nurses suggested I see the phsycologist. I thought "who?--me--see a shrink?"
Well, I did , but with some trepisation. Our clinic had a "cancer clinical phsycologist" available to talk to.
Honestly Jimmy, and Jerri, I have to say it was the best move I made to help me thru all this crap!
Maybe this is not for Jerri--but it sure helped both of us here mate.
Give Jerri our love and do look after yourself mate, luv n huggs, kanga n Jen

rejoyous
Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2004

Jimmy, as the one in our family who HAS fhe cancer, I can tell you that I often feel my husband got the harder end of the deal. All I had to do was bear the stuff in my body. Nobody expected me to function. Meanwhile, he was putting out, putting out, putting out--the kids, the house, me, his job--not to mention his own worries and emotional ups and downs. My husbnad made all the difference with giving me a healing environment and I'm sure Jerri feels grateful with every fiber of her body.

We took a class in meditation together offered by our hospital. ("Mindfulness-based stress reduction" is what it was called--they offer these classes at many places across the country.) It really helped focus us on how to put that "enjoy one moment at a time" stuff into practice.

This cancer stuff demands enormous strength and courage and heart. Thank you, all caregivers, for helping us get through it.

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