Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Update on Jim 12/16/09

Jim had to be to Oncology Assoc this morning at 8:15. They did lab work and we met with Dr Nabi before she did the biopsy on his other hip. Dr Nabi informed us that there were some addditional spots of concern that showed up on his PET/CT scan that was done Monday. He has a spot on his back (thorasic area), one in the pubic area and one in a lymph node deep within his abdomen. These results do not change anything in the recommended course of treatment. These tests will provide a baseline from which they will be able to compare future tests so they will know what his progress is. Dr Nabi then proceeded with the biopsy of the bone marrow on his right hip. We hope to have the results of that when we see her at the next appointment. That will be next Monday 12/21 - which is when Jim will have his first chemo treatment. Dr Nabi gave Jim the option to wait till after Christmas for his first chemo but because he is anxious to get the "healing" started he decided not to wait.

On Monday, 12/21 Jim has to be at the Oncology Assoc at 8:15. They will do lab work, he will meet with the doctor and then proceed with his first round of chemo. It was kind of interesting how they described the process. There are five different ingredients in the "recipe" that will be used on Jim. I believe two of them are oral meds. The rest are given separately via IV- they are not a "cocktail" (meaning they are NOT mixed together), but are given separately, in "courses". For the first treatment they will be watching him closely for allergic reactions. It will be administered very slowly so if there are any problems they can stop it. Subsequent treatments should go faster once they've determined he can handle it. This first chemo treatment will take approximately 6 hours, so we are to plan on being there for the entire day. He is to bring a cold sack lunch. They don't want hot food brought in as the smells can be offensive to others receiving treatment. The chemo room has lots of big comfortable recliners in it, blankets galore, DVD players to watch movies and music that you can listen to with earphones. Patients are encouraged to bring books, or anything else that will help the time go by. Everyone is so kind and compassionate there. We feel really good about the care he will be receiving.

We've been warned about possible side effects and things that we need to be watchful for. They have a doctor on call that is accessible through the answering service 24/7, and we were told not to hesitate to call if we have any concerns. The actual side effects of the chemo may not kick in for 7-14 days, as it will take that long to work its way into his system. (Future treatments won't take that long.) I asked if we needed to be concerned about being around family over the holidays and were assured that there should be no problem. Jim was just warned to use proper hygiene habits (i.e., regular hand washing) and to avoid close proximity with anyone not feeling 100%.

Please pray for Jim to not suffer any side effects from his chemo!

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
~ Isaiah 26:3, NLT

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