Word of the day. Anticipation. Last night was difficult because of the anticipation for today…John’s first round of chemo. We called his dad last night to see how he was doing and got more news that shook us to the core. His father has to undergo surgery to remove a part of his leg where the tumors have been living and fighting back against his treatment plans for over four years. The doctors decided they did not want to take any more risks and gut his thigh, replacing it with the muscle and skin from his calf before it decided to move up his body and hurt him further. Anticipation…for both John and his father. We were all thinking positive thoughts but the countdown was difficult in itself.
John has now been through 4 (21 more to go) rounds of radiation and went through his first round of chemo today. I have been taking photos and recording videos so far of our journey and here he is before his first treatment.
I sat right next to him at the hospital with a room full of others going through their own struggles. I brought my computer to get some work done and instead, stared at him the entire time. The initial medicine made him drowsy, so you guessed it, I watched him sleep. He had a couple of bags of fluids and anti nausea medicines. This then proceeded to his bag full of chemo medicine. I looked at the bag with such hope. I just kept looking at the clear solution like it was going to look right back to me. Hanging high above our heads, the nurse switched the capsules and linked it to his aching body. Then…the machine started. I watched each drip for over 30 minutes and then realized my neck was aching from gawking at it for so long. It was like a hypnotic rhythm...three drips, pause…two drips, pause…then three again, pause. It kept that beat the entire time. It was his first time today. It was so surreal in the sense that we thought this day would never come much less be real. After that bag, he was taken back for his fourth round of radiation, brought back for two final bags of fluids and he was done.
I am not sure of the medicine they gave him, but for a few hours, we had the old John back. The John that was not in pain. The John with the beautiful blue sparkle in his eyes. The John that laughed at himself when he would say something cute. It was really stunning because the last few days since radiation started have been difficult. I can see it in his eyes after treatment and I know I will see it again. He is so incredibly strong and is fighting so hard but anyone would feel his pain. They say the 24-48 hours after chemo are the hardest so we are trying to stay ahead of the nausea by staying on a routine of medicine to keep him comfortable. Naturally, he is lethargic, but still in very good spirits.
I spoke to my sister in law Megan tonight and she updated me on Big John. She stated the surgery was a success and so far, the skin and muscle were taking to his leg. All great news and we joked about how he would be up and walking around with his new prosthetic leg in a few weeks.
It is amazing the determination these two men have. They share something so hurtful yet also share the same fortitude. Their sweet souls are going to move mountains and we are so lucky to be a part of it.